Lionesses Event

Train Like a Lioness

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A special partnership event took place recently in Plymouth led by the FA Talent Legacy Group, giving girls across the city the opportunity to ‘Train Like a Lioness.’

Thirty year six girls from primary schools across the city were treated to a day of football activities at Plymouth Marjon University, supported by the Argyle Women’s team and Argyle Community Trust.

The day started with an inspirational talk and question-and-answer session with FA Women’s Talent Technical Coach Sarah Lawler Edwards, and former England international and current Argyle defender Jemma Rose. The girls then got a chance to familiarise themselves with the teams and players of the 2022 Women’s Euros courtesy of the official Panini sticker collection.

After a star-studded introduction, the girls were put through their paces with a series of fitness, skills, and agility challenges before taking to the astro pitches to show off their skills in a mini Euros tournament.

The event took place at the start-of-the-art facilities at Plymouth Marjon University, taking advantage of their fabulous indoor sports hall and outdoor 3G astroturf pitches, with sessions led by current sport students at the University.

It wasn’t just the girls that benefited from the sessions. A development session was held for the primary school teachers in attendance to give them the information they need to help identify a future Lioness at their school.

FA Women’s Talent Technical Coach Sarah said: “This is a great opportunity for participants to meet other girls and play football, but also for us to identify youngsters who have the potential to be a future Lioness.

“The event is also about removing barriers for young talented players. Some youngsters don’t own football boots so Marjon sourced boots from local charity Plymouth Football Boot Bank for them to use and take with them to continue playing.

“We are lucky here in Plymouth to have strong partnerships and a solid network with the FA, Devon FA, Plymouth School Sports Partnership, Argyle Community Trust, the Women’s High-Performance Football Centre, and Plymouth Marjon University collaborating on this wonderful event in the city.”

The girls were nominated to attend the event having been identified by the Plymouth School Sports Partnership. The partnership, backed by Barclays, selected Plymouth as one of five hotspot cities in the country this year to develop a network and collaborative opportunities for local girls’ football.

Anna Clooke, Partnership Leader for the Plymouth School Sports Partnership, adds: “Our mission is to ensure girls have equal access to football opportunities. Train Like a Lioness is aimed at increasing the chances of girls playing for England, their club, or just for fun, and builds on the work we do during curriculum time, after school, and within the talent pathway.”

Argyle Women’s Manager Ryan Perks, who also works as Women and Girls Lead Officer for the Argyle Community Trust, said: “Train Like a Lioness is part of our Discover My Talent Pathway, giving opportunities for primary school girls to show us their ability, but also to continue their progression through the pathway.

“We have a complete pathway of opportunities for girls from Wildcats at the age of five, through to our Centre of Excellence and Advanced Development Centres, all feeding into our Post-16 Football Education Programme, our under-23s, and Argyle Women FC.”

Argyle Women defender Jemma Rose has played football since she was eight, progressing on to the Argyle Cente of Excellence, Argyle under-12s, England Girls, and on to her full England senior debut: “I didn’t have the opportunities that kids do nowadays, especially as a girl growing up liking football. This event is massive for girls and women’s football in terms of equality and ensuring the development of girls’ football.

“My advice for any girl is to work hard in and out of school, join your local team, and practice at every opportunity.”

For more information on the Argyle Player Pathway, email

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