A Bolton teacher has set up an all-girls football club aimed at ethnic minorities - with places being snapped up and a waiting list now in place. 

Firdows Patel, known as Fiddy, has been a teacher for 10 years and has decided to open up a club focussing on football as that is her main passion and interest and wanted to have a space for young girls to also enjoy the sport.

The 33-year-old from Astley Bridge has collaborated with Bolton United Boys Club and has launched Bolton United Girls, with the community response so far being ‘phenomenal’.

Fiddy said: “I have always been into football ever since I was young. I used to play in school, but it wasn’t something I could pursue due to other commitments such as mosque.

“Things have changed now though, girls play a lot more football and it has always been playing on my mind to set up a club for girls in ethnic minorities, as a place for girls to have a mentor and a place to hear them out.

The Bolton News: The girls went to watch the Manchester United Womans team trainThe girls went to watch the Manchester United Womans team train (Image: Nazira Yusuf)

“I understand there has been a generational shift so young people are doing different things to what I did when I was younger, but I said we needed to do something to support them.

“I asked some of the girls if I was to set up something would they be interested and they said yes.

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“So, I decided to set up an all-girls football club and this is my way of doing something that I love but also offering it to my community.

“I spoke to the PE teacher at my school, and he thought the idea was fantastic and he knew someone in the FA, so he contacted them, and they set up a meeting with me.

“The FA loved the idea, they thought it was fantastic and said they could help me with it.

“They have funded my coaching and I have finished my level one now so I am qualified as a coach and they also got in touch with a Bolton boys' football club, Bolton United Boys, and we met up and they opened their arms and said they would support me.

The Bolton News: Fiddy set up the club to get Asian girls into footballFiddy set up the club to get Asian girls into football (Image: Nazira Yusuf)“So, they are giving me a site to use, they are providing kit for the girls and more.

“And we made an agreement and I now have a club set up, Bolton United Girls.

“I think it will make a massive difference to the community, this is a chance for us to break some barriers and I am hoping I can get rid of this stigma surrounding Asian girls and football.”

Fiddy said she has had many parents interested in their daughters getting involved.

She said: “The response has been phenomenal, we launched the club on social media a couple of weeks ago and within a few hours the slots were filled.

“It is so popular, and people are on waiting lists. I have people enquiring for their kids from reception age all the way up to 14 to take part.

“Everyone wants it to happen because there is such a demand for it, but I can only make it big from the amount of volunteers I can get to help coaching.

“The aim is to put on as many sessions as possible for girls as the demand is definitely there.”

The club will be for younger girls and there will be a youth club made up at the site too which will be worked on over the summer for older girls who want to go for a kickabout, play games and more.

The club will also teach older girls to become coaches, so they have some responsibility.

Fiddy said she is hoping to get some more volunteers and coaches to join in so more girls can benefit from the club too.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno