Stoke Hill AFC Girls’ Football

Feb 15, 2024

Girls’ football has been rising in popularity for years now and our recent success in the women’s world cup helped to motivate many new players to participate in the sport. In Exeter, there are now more opportunities for girls to play football than ever before, and it’s exciting to see so many of our young women and girls not only take up the sport, but really love it and develop their skills far beyond a weekly kickabout.

One such club is Stoke Hill AFC. The rise in popularity of girls’ football means that there are more girls of all ages signing up to join the club, and there is now a new U15 age group. This inclusive club particularly welcomes girls from one of Live and Move’s priority areas, and includes girls from all backgrounds, some with various conditions ranging from type 1 diabetes, autism and anxiety.

It can sadly be notoriously difficult to raise sponsorship for girls’ football, meaning that these girls were wearing hand me down, unisex kit which is essentially designed and shaped for boys. The girls train on a Friday and then play matches on a Sunday and having only one kit for both made this tight turnaround difficult for them.

Live and Move wanted to help this team to really feel part of the club and knew that if they had their own kit, they’d feel more supported and valued. By supporting the team in this way, we knew they’d have a sense of their own identity, which would go a long way to supporting their mental wellbeing too. This support also goes some way in removing any stigma that they might be felt by not having the most up to date branded sportswear. It brings everybody together and really helps with establishing that all important cohesive team dynamic, as well as benefitting the wider community too.

Stuart Tomkins, the team’s coach says that this support has made a world of difference to the girls. He added:

“The girls have always had vast amounts of enthusiasm and skill but never really felt part of a team. The new kit has really fostered that sense, and it’s hugely exciting to see them all out there on the pitch wearing matching gear. They look amazing and we are hugely grateful to Live and Move for supporting the team in this way.

Having this kit helps with their mental well-being by giving them a feeling of togetherness and gives them a sense of identity.”

You only need to look at the smiles these photographs to see what a difference having matching kit makes to the team. The team now has matching tops, coats and tracksuits so that whether they are training, playing in a match, or sitting on the side-lines, they are well kitted out. Live and Move has been thrilled to support these girls and will be watching their progress with interest for the rest of the season!