Recently women’s football has seen an increase in ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries at both professional and grassroots levels. However, comprehensive injury prevention programmes are the answer to this rise.

A pioneering charity named ‘Power Up To Play’ has been created in hopes of reducing these injuries and combating this widespread problem.

In the last few years, there has been an uptake in interest in women’s football both internationally, and at a grassroots level.

There has been a 15 per cent increase in female youth teams registered with the FA since the success at the UEFA European Women's Championship in 2022.

Unfortunately, with this interest, a clear rise in knee injuries in girls and young women can be observed. This is a higher number than male athletes, as female athletes have a three to six times higher risk of developing a knee injury.

Many professional female players have faced these difficulties in recent years, such as Leah Williamson and Beth Mead.

It is also a hazard to children, as in the last 20 years there has been a 29-fold increase in child knee injuries that require surgery. These are incredibly upsetting as they keep the child away from sport for 12 months and may have long-term consequences.

Thankfully, due to the work of ’Power Up To Play’ a solution has been found in the form of a warmup, that if done regularly reduces these injuries by 50 per cent.

On its website, coaches, concerned parents and even children can learn how to keep safe while doing a sport they love. There are informative videos and they even offer free training for coaches so they can use this warmup with their players. The new method of warming up involves five steps with multiple exercises within each of these.

Due to the evidence seen in both professional and grassroots spheres, it is clear there is an issue that must be dealt with. However, it is also clear that ‘Power Up To Play’ is crucial in creating change that will combat this issue. Therefore, those managing and coaching both lower-level and higher-level teams should adopt this new warmup to keep their players protected.

  • This article was written by Elsie Allwright, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.