Leighton Park School and Her Game Too are proud to announce a groundbreaking new partnership as the charity, dedicated to the promotion of girls in sport, signs up its very first senior school!

Emily Drakeley, Co-Founder and Director of Her Game Too, said: “I am really pleased that we have partnered with our first Senior School, Leighton Park. This partnership is really important to me as my own personal football journey began at secondary school, where I faced many barriers. The pupils and staff at Leighton Park will be supported by us at Her Game Too through educational pieces, tournament support and advice and guidance when needed”.

Like Her Game Too, Leighton Park strives to encourage participation in girls’ football. In line with the school’s Quaker values of equality and respect, Leighton Park believes that no girl should be hindered by concerns of sexism or ridicule in sport. Joining forces with Her Game Too cements the school’s focus on development of young female footballers in an environment free from bias. Alongside this, Leighton Park also aims to be a leading voice in the education sector for a more inclusive and supportive environment for girls involved in football across the nation.

Head of Football at Leighton Park School and creator of the YouHQ Girls’ Summer Football league, Callum Beasley, commented: “Working with Her Game Too boosts our voice to encourage other communities to do more for equality in sport, push girls to be confident leaders and athletes and ensure others are changing the way they think about womens’ football”. Emily Drakeley seconded Callum’s commitment, commenting: “It is fantastic to see Callum leading the charge to making football a game for all at Leighton Park and when he told me his plans, I was so excited. It took me back to being a teenager again! I am really excited for this partnership and hope we can really make a difference for the students here!”

Leighton Park was selected by Her Game Too as its first senior school partner because of the tremendous progress and dedication to girls’ sport in recent months. Since January the school has offered professional coaching delivered by Chelsea FC after school with the girls’ football season supported throughout the summer term. 80 girls are now involved in the game. The school has launched an exciting new girls’ football league, sponsored by health and wellbeing platform, YouHQ, engaging girls’ teams from 11 other local schools and promoting sport in the Reading area.

The Leighton Park Girls’ Football teams are unbeaten across all years so far this term, with a 100% win rate. The enthusiasm across the school both in Games lessons and in lunchtime hobbies has encouraged 80% of the Year 7 and 8 girls to sign up to girls football, progressing their skills, confidence and determination. The energy and dedication of the PE Department’s Callum Beasley, Head of Football, and Danny Clarke, PE & Games Resident Graduate, supported by the school’s entire PE staff is phenomenal.

Lateen (Year 8) explained: “It’s very fun and they do lots of different training activities, they make sure to get you in matches, give you lots of opportunities and make you feel good about yourself. I played a match before and felt I did badly but my coach gave me so much support and told me I shouldn’t think negatively about myself and he made me think I should keep trying and not give up.”

Jane (Year 8) agreed, saying; “The coaches are so nice and supportive. Even if you are not as good as others they treat you the same and help you to put in more effort. Being a player is good but it’s being a team that’s better.”

Callum Beasley reflected: “I am extremely proud to be a part of the growth of girls’ football here at Leighton Park. The enthusiasm and dedication of our players are the seeds of a growing future for the sport. We are so thankful that this partnership with Her Game Too allows us to contribute to the shaping of equal opportunities in football within our school and broader Reading community”.