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Scottish youth football history was made today as Bayside FC hosted the country's largest all-girls football festival. Over nine hundred young female players from teams across Scotland spent the day playing non-competitive football at Pitreavie Playing Fields in Dunfermline.
The event, fully-subsidised by Bayside FC & its sponsors, saw the teams playing over 200 fixtures with the younger age groups in the morning and early afternoon, with the older girls playing in the afternoon and into early evening.
Speaking to YFS about the success of the day, organiser, Martin Kennedy, has been overwhelmed with the support since the festival was first announced, "Things have snowballed since we first agreed to run the event. I'd like to thank everyone who has played their part. All the parents and coaches, the girls, the staff hosting the hot food and drinks as well as Fife Soccer Sevens Development for supplying equipment. Without everyone's support and effort it wouldn't have been possible."
Stuart Grieve of Positive Coaching Scotland was in attendance to launch the organisation's collaborative programme with the SWF to promote workshops within clubs across Scotland. Grieve, whose organisation was visible at last year's girls youth cup finals saw the day as a prime opportunity to spread the positive message, "We're looking to roll out programmes and encourage clubs join the PCS Pledge and a today is our official launch in partnership the SWF."
SWF Executive Administrator, Maureen McGonigle, was delighted to be able to move forward with PCS, saying: "It's with great pleasure we confirm our support to Positive Coaching Scotland. Today in front of a record crowd of young girls, delighted to be participating in today's Bayside Festival, we kick-off our partnership that will bring positive and lasting benefits to the culture of our game."
Furthermore representatives from Show Racism the Red card were there to promote their continual message of tackling racism and promoting race equality.
Hailed as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, women's football participation levels have risen 88% in the past 20 years. Today's festival is important for young female footballers, allowing them to compete against teams they otherwise may never have the chance to. Many young players often find themselves required to integrate with boys' squads due to lack of numbers locally to build an entire squad. Vibrant games and activities from the Bayside FC festival is helping make a measured impact on the sustainability of girls' squads across Scotland.
Congratulations to all the competing teams: Bayside Girls, Broxburn, Celtic Tayside, Cumbernauld Colts, Dalry Rovers, Dunfermline, East Fife, Falkirk, Falkirk United, Forfar Farmington, Glasgow City, Glasgow Girls, Glenrothes Strollers, Hearts, Hearts United, Hibernian, Hillfield Swifts, Jeanfield, Letham, Monifieth, Murieston United, Musselburgh Windsor, Port Glasgow, Raith Rovers, Real Fife, Scone Thistle, and Spartans.