MEON Valley MP Flick Drummond visited Swanmore College to watch pupils take part in the 2024 Let Girls Play event.

This was the third annual event organised by the Football Association to encourage more girls across the country to play football.

Mrs Drummond was welcomed to the school by deputy head Amanda Griffiths and was joined by school minister Damian Hinds.

Hampshire Chronicle: Damian Hinds and Flick Drummond at Swanmore CollegeDamian Hinds and Flick Drummond at Swanmore College (Image: Flick Drummond)

The FA set a target in 2020 to deliver 75 per cent equal access to football in PE lessons by 2024. The country has seen a 39 per cent increase in the number of female youth teams since 2021.

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The inaugural event in 2022 saw 90,000 taking part and last year 285,000 girls took part.

Mrs Drummond said: “The success of the Lionesses has really fired up the number of girls playing football and I am delighted to see so many enjoying the sport across the country and here in Swanmore School.

“All of our participants in Let Girls Play should be proud of themselves. I look forward to seeing if the number of girls playing the game this year can beat last year’s figure as that will cement the interest we have seen since the success of the Lionesses.”

Mr Hinds said: “Great to see the Swanmore College girls’ football teams being put through their paces.

“The FA’s initiative is a wonderful motivator for girls’ football as well as a recognition of just how far we’ve come in recent years.”