The She Inspires tournament will return for a second year running as it aims to reach more young women in Merseyside.

The summer tournament hosted over 120 young women last year and aims to grant girls the chance to gain skills both on and off the pitch, particularly in areas where other youth services have been cut and there is a lack of sporting opportunities.

The initiative will be followed by 12 weeks of opportunities for girls to get involved with, revolving in and around the game thanks to support from Merseyside Police, Merseyside Police Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, Liverpool FC Foundation, Everton in the Community, and the Liverpool County FA.

The 12 weeks following the tournament will include free coaching sessions and additional educational activities. The girls will then have the chance to earn fully funded coaching and refereeing qualifications through the County FA.

Ellie Fox, Women and Girls Football Development Officer at Liverpool County FA, explained what She Inspires offered young ladies last year:

She said: “We ran this programme to provide 15-18 year old girls the opportunity to play in a tournament, and be able to gain coaching qualifications and referee qualifications.

“We ran a 16-week programme which had a massive success, where we managed to get female only refereeing courses which had roughly 22 girls attend who are now playing and refereeing in female football which is fantastic.

“They were also able to provide coaching qualifications, with some girls even able to go onto the UEFA C courses, giving them the confidence to go even further in their coaching journey.”

This year, She Inspires aims to offer footballing opportunities to even more girls in the region, opening the tournament up to girls aged 13 and 14 to get involved as well.

Said Fox: “We’ve decided to aim for a lower age group than last year, in regards to being more proactive instead of reactive, and then provide them with more opportunities and provide a more educational side to the programme, and we’re hoping to launch that in September.”

The initiative was so successful last year that it ended up winning an award at Wembley for the Innovation of Women’s and Girl’s football at the 22 County FA Awards. This was in recognition of its work to improve grassroots football, encourage new players and inspiring existing ones.

“We were so grateful to actually receive the Women’s and Girl’s recognition award across our county from the FA, it was a real honour to receive,” said Fox.

Following such success, the team behind She Inspires hope to keep providing opportunities to girls and ladies around Merseyside whether that be from a playing, coaching or refereeing standpoint.

Added Fox: “The female participation is massive, so we really want to try and push the various elements that come in sport, coaching is a massive one.

“As a county we are really trying to push and provide every single lady and girl out there the opportunity to play.”

Further information can be found on the Liverpool FA website.