The Bristol Women’s Football Casual League was established by players who recognised a gap between those females wanting to participate in traditional 11 a-side football in a friendly competitive and regular league, and those that wanted to play football but on a more casual , informal and flexible basis. The league recognises the need for a friendly ‘women’s only’ football league that provides an informal but organised opportunity to play in a nurturing environment and is aimed at women of all abilities who want to play football.
The ethos of the league is to make sure football is accessible to all, those who identify as women, those who are non-binary, those that are mothers or carers, those that have work commitments, those who cannot afford the costs of more competitive leagues and training. Most importantly for us to provide a friendly, inclusive league that all players are proud to be apart of.
The league continually consults with each team. This gives them ownership and allows them to make important decisions whether this is around playing formats or frequency of games.
The real success has stemmed from ensuring the cost is kept to a minimum and in turn this allows more accessibility, especially from those in deprived areas or have a low income.
Ensuring the right people are involved makes the women feel comfortable, this includes the leagues organisers, referees etc and that the right environment is created for all - friendly and accessible, bringing a real mix of players from different backgrounds and cultures together to play the beautiful game, and ensures that community values, social togetherness and access to sport through football is available to everyone.