Female grassroots footballers most keen to play again after lockdown

Middlesbrough pre season training
Photo: Colin Lock

Harrod Sport has investigated how eager amateur footballers are to return to playing, finding that women are more keen than men.

As part of their research into creating a COVID-19 grassroots survival guide, Harrod Sport has looked into how team and player registration figures were impacted for the 2020/21 season.

The figures from five County Associations revealed a common trend that shows female player numbers have remained steady – generally maintaining registration levels, or even slightly increasing participation for the current campaign.

Why are a higher percentage of women returning to the pitch? 

“After almost a year of coronavirus restrictions, the importance of staying active and keeping occupied is most certainly being felt by many across the country,” said Harrod Sports Sales & Marketing Executive, Kate Pasque.

“Team sports have always been a great way to do this and more women than ever are looking to take advantage of the unparalleled benefits it can provide for our health and mental wellbeing.”

Across the counties

Somerset showed the most striking figures, with females demonstrating a 28.9% increase of interest in taking up football compared to the 2019/20 season, while for males it was up 3.9%.

North Riding’s number of female players registered for the 2020/21 season increased by 5.4%, figures in Berks & Bucks, as well as Norfolk, remained steady for women, less so for the men.

Although Birmingham had a 28.4% overall increase in registered players for 2019-20, there has been a significant drop in the year-on-year figures, but even then far fewer female participants were lost in comparison to males.

Change in player registrations for the 2020/21 season

County FA Overall Players (% YoY change) Male Players (% YoY change) Female Players (% YoY change)
Berks-Bucks – 0.49% – 0.54% 0.01%
Birmingham -18.1% -16.9% – 5.5%
Norfolk 2.2% – 5.65% 0.4%
North Riding – 1% – 1.8% 5.4%
Somerset 5.9% 3.9% 28.9%

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