Network Rail teams up with Stockport County FC for girls’ football festival: The u15 girls teams ready to compete-2

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Network Rail teams up with Stockport County FC for girls’ football festival

Region & Route:
North West & Central
| North West & Central: North West

On Friday 17 May, girls from high schools across Stockport were invited to Edgeley Park to compete in a friendly football tournament and to learn about important railway safety along the way.

Network Rail has been working with Stockport County Community Trust since 2022 to educate young people about railway safety and healthy play.

The festival kicked off at 1pm with students from Stockport School, Stockport Academy, Poynton High School and Laurus Cheadle Hulme competing. When not tackling their opponents, teammates were invited to learn more about railway safety.

Chris McLaughlin, Network Rail’s North West route community safety manager, said: “It’s been fantastic to celebrate our partnership with Stockport County Community Trust by welcoming girls from across Stockport to take part in the football festival.

“We’ve been working closely with Stockport County Community Trust for two years now, providing railway safety information at matches, school visits and during the summer holidays. I look forward to continuing this fantastic teamwork.”

Matthew Bailey, social inclusion lead at Stockport County Community Trust, said: “The Trust is so grateful for the support we’ve received from Network Rail throughout the academic year.

“Our organisations share many core values and objectives for young people in our community, including the provision of football opportunities for girls. With that in mind, we were delighted to invite the high school students over Edgeley Park and hope they all had a memorable day.”

The tournament was a great success, with over thirty girls in attendance and each team playing a total of six matches. After some tough competition, Stockport School raised the Network Rail trophy.

The teams were visited by Navendu Mishra, MP for Stockport, who came to show his support for the tournament.

Navendu Mishra, MP for Stockport, said: “It was fantastic to attend Network Rail and Stockport County’s rail partnership event promoting rail safety and healthy play for young people on Friday.

“I’m so pleased Stockport County have been promoted to League One, and can't wait to see them build on their success next season. Thanks to Network Rail and Stockport County for hosting this tournament.”

When the future Lionesses weren’t on the pitch, they had an important railway safety briefing from Network Rail. 

Across the North West route*, there have been 2,446 incidences of trespass or vandalism on the railway in the last year. In the borough of Stockport, there have been 86, with Stockport station on the hotspot list.

The partnership encourages young people to get involved in community sports teams, with the aim of promoting good physical and mental health and diverting young people away from the opportunity to trespass onto the railway.

Network Rail and Stockport County have more plans for the future, in particular the expansion of citizenship workshops in primary schools, which form part of the Club’s Hatters in the Community programme.

Notes to Editors

*Network Rail's North West route

The North West route runs from Cheshire in the south to Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria in the North.

Major stations across the route include Crewe, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly, Bolton, Preston, and Carlisle. The route is home to the two Northern Powerhouse cities of Liverpool and Manchester, as well as the tourist destinations of Blackpool and the Lake District.

The North West route is part of the North West and Central region.

**Network Rail and Stockport County Community Trust partnership

Network Rail and Stockport County Community Trust are collaborating to deliver a variety of projects to support rail safety in the local community. Funded projects include:

Summer Holiday Free School Meal Programme    

The Network Rail community safety team will deliver a variety of different projects during the summer holidays at the free school meal holiday provision. Providing virtual reality units to the group to help them understand the dangers of playing on rail tracks. A Rose Hill Marple train station will display posters designed by the group with positive messages.

Educational Workshops

Workshop to raise awareness of rail safety to children in years 6 across Brinnington, Hazel Grove, Town Centre, and Reddish.

The Under 15s Network Rail football festival

The Under 15s football festival aims to provide girls in Stockport with free football provision and give them the opportunity to represent their schools. 

Match Day Visits

Over the course of the season Network Rail will be providing junior supporters in the Together Stand with various activities pre match along with distributing goody bags.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: