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Girls' football team celebrates 10th anniversary

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As our Co-Curricular Activity programme got underway this week, our Girls' Football Team reached a major milestone: 10 years of girls' football at BISB! Back in 2008 the idea of girls' football was hatched while I was on playground duty. A Year 6 student called Emily was kicking a football around the basketball court. When I asked her why she didn’t join in with the boys she immediately responded that the boys don’t let the girls play football. Although there was no proof that this was true, it got me thinking about whether BISB had a team dedicated to girls’ football. After looking through the after-school activities list, I noticed that although the girls had a very successful netball team there was no girls' football team. Let’s just say the rest is history!

The first BISB girls' football match took place at the beginning of December 2008 against the ISB primary team. Sadly, due to lack of experience, it was a very one sided affair with the final score being 9-0 to ISB. It took another five months before we scored our first goal, which was in the Nord Anglia cup in May 2009. In that tournament we lost every game we played except one against an equally inexperienced Bratislava team. In that match we drew 0-0.

The next five years were the toughest. Most of our games finished with rugby type results rather than football results. Our school was small at that time and it was an uphill task to grow and develop the team. The girls were plucky and had great spirit but sadly couldn’t turn around their fortunes. This resulted in the numbers dwindling from 18 girls throughout the school to just 12. Popularity for girls' football was on a massive decline.

In 2014 our luck changed for the better with the introduction of DVAC (Danube Valley Athletics Conference). This led to further competitions and more games. Our teams became more competitive and the results changed almost overnight from defeat to success. We won our first trophy in that year and since then the profile of the sport has climbed quickly. Our U19s are undefeated over the past 18 months. They have brought home three consecutive DVAC cups and brought back the inaugural ENASA cup last year. Our U14s have lifted numerous DVAC trophies and in 2017 won their first ever Nord Anglia trophy after eight years of trying. Our numbers boast a quite impressive 68 girls spanning from Year four up to Year 13.

All this success is down to a number of factors. We have a fantastic group of children that strive to succeed and never give up. The girls always turn up for training no matter the weather or the time of day. These girls show commitment to the team. On top of all this, we have fantastic support from the parents. Parents bring their daughters to school before dawn and pick them up in the middle of the night when we return from games or tournaments and even wait long hours after school to pick them up from training. This support is always much appreciated.

I look forward to working another ten years on this project that has gone from a dream to a success story.

Chris Walker
Head coach of girls' football