Girl in football kit looking up

Girls United hosts biggest ever UK women’s grassroots football tournament

Girls United International Women’s Day Tournament returns for its seventh year in Barnet, supporting safe spaces for young women and girls in football.

On Saturday 9 March, over 300 players from 42 teams are expected to participate in Girls United’s annual International Women’s Day tournament, making this event the biggest grassroots women’s tournament in the UK. 

The tournament, sponsored by Hawkeye Innovations, Pulselive and Beyond Sports of Sony’s Sport Businesses, is an annual fundraiser aiming to celebrate women in football and support the non-profit’s mission of providing opportunities and pathways for girls and young women in football both on and off the pitch.

Partnering with Powerleague for the third year running, the event will be hosted at their facilities in Mill Hill over 6 to 8 football pitches with teams competing across 3 categories – Beginner Women’s & Non-Binary x2 and Intermediate Women’s & Non-Binary. 

Previous editions of the event have raised up to £7,000, with the organisation hoping to reach a similar target this year. 

All proceeds go directly towards supporting initiatives in Girls United locations across London and Mexico.

Teams will be playing for a number of exclusive prizes including Nike kits provided by Kitlocker, cinema tickets to watch the 1971 Women’s World Cup documentary, Copa 71, provided by film production company Dogwoof, as well as tickets to the Chelsea vs Ajax UWCL match and pre-match event organised by Baller FC and Chelsea WFC at Stamford Bridge. 

Fundraising activities and off pitch challenges will also take place throughout the day alongside content opportunities with event and media partners DAZN, Minute Media, Common Goal, INDIVISA and Sky Sports. 

The involvement of various sponsors in the tournament reflects a growing shared commitment to advancing women’s sports and promoting gender equality on and off the field.

young girls playing football
Women playing football at Girls United event. Credit: Girls United

Josh Emerson, Marketing & Communications Manager at Girls United, explained: “We’ve worked with some organisations that all collectively recognise the importance of these events.

“They have been really good and supporting us, whether that’s providing us with the space, providing us with kits or providing us with funding.”

This sentiment was echoed by Sony’s Sport Businesses commenting on X, formerly Twitter: “It is our extreme privilege to sponsor the tournament and celebrate grassroots women’s football, supporting Girls United in their efforts to inspire young women’s participation in football.”

Emerson added: “There’s always great, high impact moments, especially when we’re able to get to get special guests along.”

They hope to be joined on the day by some notable guests including Girls United Ambassador and former Lioness, Danielle Carter. 

Through initiatives like this tournament, strides are being made towards creating a more inclusive and equitable sporting environment where women have equal opportunities to succeed. 

One former participant said: “As a woman in the game, I struggled to play growing up due to the lack of opportunities, this tournament helps bring more opportunities to girls.”

Another participant added: “I think this community built between teams and Girls United is more important than ever and it’s great when we get to come together to celebrate that as one.” 

The event is one of several taking place as part of the wider Girls United IWD campaign which also includes Youth Tournaments occurring simultaneously in London and Mexico City. 

Throughout the month, girls attending partner schools in London will be taking part in workshops aimed at redefining female role models through their ‘Love The Game x Nike’ programme.

Friday 8 March, International Women’s Day itself, also marks Girls United’s 7th anniversary.

Since its launch in 2017, over 130 Girls United coaches have provided 6,000+ hours of sessions to approximately 5,000 participants as they seek to fulfil their objective in ensuring girls and women globally can reach their potential, using the power of football.

The International Women’s Day tournament is set to once again stand as a paragon of empowerment, celebration, and advocacy for gender equality in sports.

Featured image credit: Girls United

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