Bend it like a Brownie

5 ideas from football fanatic Brownies that'll get girls playing the beautiful game

Emily, Digital team
02 May 2018

Who says girls can't play football?

With only 27% of girls offered football as an option to play in school PE lessons (Girls Attitude Survey 2017), we asked some of football-mad units to share their ideas on how to get your girls interested in the beautiful game!  


1. Contact your local team

In 2018, over 100 girls from Girlguiding Norfolk took part in football matches, training sessions, football themed crafts and team building at Norfolk County FA.

It really made me think, when we all come together, what Brownies is all about and I thought the football was brilliant – Ruby, 8

Madeline’s Brownies also had an excellent time when visiting their local team! She told us ‘We contacted our local club (Gillingham FC) who arranged a stadium tour for our Brownies one week, the following week some of their ladies/youth teams came to play with our girls in our meeting place. A couple of weeks later the girls were mascots for Gillingham Ladies FC at a home game!'

2. Play your own version of sit down football

The 1st Lee South Brownies haven’t let a lack of outdoor space stop them from playing football during their meetings.

Here are their instructions for their own special version, with one team sitting on chairs and the others standing:

  • Divide girls into teams by lining them up in height order and numbering them 1/2/1/2/1/2 so the teams are fairly split
  • Set up the playing area, making the sitting team’s goal about ¾ of the size of the standing team.
  • The aim is to score goals in to the other team’s net, but keeping to these rules:
    • The sitting team can’t move their chair
    • The sitting team can’t block their goal with chairs
    • The sitting team can tag the running team, but must not move!
    • If a running player is tagged, then they’re out.

The game can be adapted and rules changed depending on what the girls want to do.

For the first time you play it, make sure that you give the sitting team the chance to rearrange their seats while they learn what seat position works best!

At my school boys don't let girls play football with them as [they think] "girls are rubbish at it". At Brownies girls are encouraged to be independent. We play our own version of football and I like this game a lot. – Elizabeth, 10

3. Try human table football

Hold a football tournament with a difference with our version of human table football.

4. Show them that the game is not just for boys!  

Olivia and Ava from the 1st Lee South Brownies love football and won’t stop anyone from letting them enjoy it:

I support Crystal Palace and go to watch them with my dad. The boys at school wouldn't believe that I've been to more than 50 Premier League matches and I used to keep quiet about it, but now I'm much more confident about talking about it. The version of football we play at Brownies is exciting, energetic and fun! – Olivia, 10
I don't think it's fair that boys think football is a men's sport - my Year One teacher used to play for the England Women's Football Team. I like the version of football we play at Brownies because the rules mean everyone can play it. – Ava, 8

5. Think international

Learn more about both football and guiding around the world with this fun craft idea…

For one of the activities at the Norfolk County FA day, girls made keyrings (or cut out cardboard people for Rainbows) where on one side they drew a football shirt from a different country and on the other side the guiding uniform from that country!