Esther McVey has urged government to look at what further support can be given to girls’ grassroot football to ensure everyone wanting to play gets the opportunity.
Speaking in Parliament Ms McVey praised the work of Wilmslow’s football academy and it's coach Erik Garner in inspiring the next generation of Lionesses.
But she said girls across the area only had the chance to play due to funding from Wilmslow Town Council and called on ministers to ensure other children were offered the same opportunities.
She said: “In Wilmslow we have a football academy run by Erik Garner, who, this summer is putting on a girls World Cup for local primary age children. That is only possible because the Town Council has stood in and is funding it to ensure the maximum number of girls can participate.
“Given women’s football is still growing, can the Minister confirm how organisations, who do not have local Parish and Town Councils who can step in, can access financial support from the FA for similar events to help inspire the next generation of Lionesses.”
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew praised the work of Mr Garner and said Government is currently carrying out an in depth review of women’s football led by former Lioness Karen Carney, which is due to report in the summer.
Mr Andrew added: “We are all proud of the Lioness’ success and the inspiration it raised. The majority of funding through grassroot sport is delivered through Sport England. We invested £21 million in 2021/22 and £46 million in 2022/23 to grassroot sports facilities in England. We suggest that organisations hoping to run similar events contact Sports England or the FA.
“Many community groups that do not have parish councils do that.”