Football Beyond Borders celebrated the launch of its female-specific schools project: FFEM, in March 2015. FFEM stands for Female, Fitness, Education and Motivation. FFEM’s main objective is to create more female leaders in the world. We aim to support and motivate young girls at a crucial period in their lives. The FFEM programme offers a unique way of engaging young women in education, using the power of football.
What is FFEM?
FFEM is the female-targeted strand of the FBB Schools programme (50% of our schools programmes are mixed), which runs in schools across south and east London. FFEM stands for Female, Fitness, Education and Motivation. FFEM uses the unique power of football to challenge, inspire and build resilient young women. We recognise that many young females face a difficult transition in the early stages of secondary school and so this programme seeks to provide a vehicle for nurturing self-esteem, friendships and positive aspirations for the future.
At FBB, we believe that football has the ability to motivate, build relationships, and create a platform for our participants to flourish and we believe football is a game which everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy.
FFEM is designed to cater to girls who are often overlooked by current education models. While girls generally achieve better than boys academically, FBB believes that with added attention and support their potential as leaders could be unleashed.
What we offer
We offer weekly after-school sessions for 120 minutes using school facilities which are broken down into two parts; 1 – Project-based learning in a classroom setting, 2 – Football pitch coaching sessions
Our qualified female coach-educators also support participants on issues such as relationships, eating disorders, self esteem and building peer/friendship groups. A big part of FFEM is that we offer young females who have been positive and active members in FBB projects the opportunity to ‘give back’, by becoming ‘young mentors’ within their schools and communities.
Participants have so far attended nine reward trips, including a trip to TEDx Teen Talks and Southbank’s Women of The World festival which featured some key international speakers, exhibitions, and young women having their say on global issues.
What is the impact?
1. 52% of FFEM participants have played their first football match as a result of the FFEM project.
2. 39% of the FFEM participants had never played competitive football before this project.
3. 100% of the FFEM participants have said they feel more confident within themselves.
Tom Bateman, Head of Year 7 & 8, Archbishop LanFranc Academy:
“It is great to have something that is targeted at girls. There are so many initiatives and as well as resources thrown at underachieving boys, it is unusual to have an affective programme specifically designed to raise the aspirations and attainment of young girls. The girls have really internalised the project and feel a sense of ownership, I can already see it has had an impact on their relationships with each other and their behaviour within school”.
Sierah Mansary, Teacher, Archbishop LanFranc Academy:
“The transformation of a number of these girls in just a matter of weeks has been quite astonishing. It has been great to see so many of them mature and gain confidence; whilst others have shown a great improvement in attitude and behaviour at school. They now feel invested in and as a result want to prove themselves both inside the classroom and on the football pitch. As representatives of FBB and FFEM they are much more aware of how they present themselves around school and are eager to impress and improve as part of the group. It has been wonderful to watch them engage so positively with the project and the changes I have seen in my own classroom as well as during the sessions has been quite remarkable”.
FFEM participant Halle, 14:
“FFEM has helped me through a lot of stuff… I always keep my head up.”
FFEM Project Lead: Karena McKay
To find out more about FFEM, contact kmckay@