Football Beyond Borders’ FFEM celebrates International Women’s Day

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Football Beyond Borders’ FFEM celebrates International Women’s Day

As part of International Women’s Day, Football Beyond Borders is celebrating the launch of its female-specific schools project: FFEM.

March 8th is a day to acknowledge and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, and the FFEM (Female Fitness Education and Maintenance) programme offers a unique way of engaging young women in education, using the power of football.

What is FFEM?

FFEM is an alternative programme to the already well-established FBB Schools programme, which runs in schools across London and England. FFEM stands for Female, Fitness, Education and Maintenance. The main objective is to highlight and create awareness of female-specific challenges. FFEM uses the unique power of football to challenge, inspire and build resilient young women.

At FBB we understand that football has the ability to build relationships, motivate and create a platform to relate to our participants. Our main outcome is to create more female leaders in the world.

FFEM is designed to cater to girls who are often overlooked by current education models. While girls generally achieve better than boys academically, FBB believes that with added attention and support via FFEM, their potential could be further unlocked academically and socially, via extra curricular activities.

FBB supporter Lianne Sanderson can certainly be considered a female leader, the England international was part of the squad that finished third at the Women’s World Cup last year.

What we offer

We offer weekly after school sessions for 90 minutes using school facilities which are broken down into two parts; 1 – Classroom based,  2 – Football pitch/sports hall based. Sessions begin with healthy refreshments followed by 30 minutes of study support. We at FFEM deliver specific classroom based sessions, which are carefully planned to support term targets, objectives and outcomes.

We also support many female specific challenges such as relationships, eating disorders, self esteem and building peer/friendship groups. A big part of FFEM is that we offer young females who have been positive and active members in the FBB projects the opportunity to ‘give back’, by becoming ‘young mentors’ within their schools and communities.

What is the impact?

1.    52% of FFEM participants have played their first football match as a result of the FFEM project.

2.    39% of the FFEM participants had never played competitive football before this project.

3.    100% of the FFEM participants have said they feel more confident within themselves and feel we are a family.

FFEM participant Halle, 14, says: “FFEM has helped me through a lot of stuff… I always keep my head up.”

Tom Bateman, Head of Year 7 & 8, Archbishop LanFranc Academy:

‘It is great to have something that is targeted at girls. There are so many initiatives and as well as resources thrown at underachieving boys, it is unusual to have an affective programme specifically designed to raise the aspirations and attainment of young girls. The girls have really internalised the project and feel a sense of ownership, I can already see it has had an impact on their relationships with each other and their behaviour within school’.

Sierah Mansary, Teacher, Archbishop LanFranc Academy:

‘The transformation of a number of these girls in just a matter of weeks has been quite astonishing. It has been great to see so many of them mature and gain confidence; whilst others have shown a great improvement in attitude and behaviour at school. They now feel invested in and as a result want to prove themselves both inside the classroom and on the football pitch. As representatives of FBB and FFEM they are much more aware of how they present themselves around school and are eager to impress and improve as part of the group. It has been wonderful to watch them engage so positively with the project and the changes I have seen in my own classroom as well as during the sessions has been quite remarkable’.

FFEM Project Leads: Melissa Nathan-Pepple and Karena McKay

To find out more about FFEM, contact info@footballbeyondborders.org

Follow @FBeyondBorders on Twitter and our other social media channels for the latest FBB news and for a special #FFEM social media takeover on the 8th of March!