Inspiration the key for girls

Date published: Wednesday 17th June 2015 11:32

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Co-ordinated by St Ninian’s High School and the SFA, the focus was on encouraging young girls to participate and pursue careers in sport by hearing from inspirational women.

The event saw 130 girls take part in a Q&A with Glasgow City FC head of youth Amy McDonald, 5,000m runner Freya Murray, mountain biker Kerry MacPhee, hockey player Alison Bell, netballer Lesley McDonald, rugby player Lindsey Smith and women from the reporting field.

Also there to lend their voices to the groups of 10 girls were Hibernian footballers Kirsty Smith and Emma Brownlie.

About the day, Brownlie said: “The girls have been really interested with plenty of questions to ask which is great.

“I think what we’re doing is great because we’re getting girls involved at a much younger age. Only a few of them played football so a lot of them were interested in other sports.

“But it was good to see the rugby girls here because they have completely different views. The questions asked were not entirely football-based, so opened my mind up to other things in sport rather than what we’d normally focus on.”

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup currently under way in Canada, and following on from the success of Women’s Sport Week which took place earlier this month, more attention is being paid to female participation in sport.

“It’s good to see all the World Cup games and the quality of the game and how it’s improved – I think it’s come a long way,” said Smith.

“I think the game could get a lot better and improve overall if we can inspire and get more young girls at a younger age involved.”

“When I was younger the Under-13 girls team I played for folded because we didn’t have enough people involved,” added Brownlie.

“If you improve the grassroots and numbers coming in, then obviously that’s going to have an impact on the A squad.”

Many sportsmen and sportswomen shy away from being labelled a role model, but not Brownlie: “It’s great because the kids look up to you.

“Although there are bigger role models out there, I think for what I’ve achieved the girls look up to that. They can learn from your experiences as well.”

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