A MAN on a mission to ensure there is more equality in football has helped launch a new programme for girls aged as young a five.

Steve Gates aided the launch of an SSE Wildcats Programmes – which is a centre that gives girls aged between five and 11 a chance to try football – with Barnsley FC Ladies and Barnsley Schools FA being at the forefront of the development.

Sessions will take place on a weekly basis up until August in Carlton Park from 9.30am until 10.30am with the aim to inspire and engage young girls through a safe, structured and enjoyable series of football related activities.

Victoria Carrington and Angela Ellis will be holding the sessions with help from other female football players and FA coaches.

The programme has been sponsored by Dianne Hall, the owner of Willow Floral Design Barnsley, and has ensured that the girls have equipment and kit to take part in the sessions.

“It’s my absolute pleasure to support this Wildcats programme and I’m looking forward to seeing these girls eventually taking part in football games and winning matches,” said Diane.

Steve, who is the director of Barnsley FC Ladies, chairman of Barnsley and District Schools Football Association and strategic lead for Barnsley Schools Girls Football Partnership, said: “It is paramount that we give the platform for young girls from five years of age the opportunity to socialise, make new friends, develop healthy lifestyles and acquire football skills just like the boys in our town.”

For more details on how to take part in the programme, contact Victoria on 07340361361 or Angela on 07788106313.