AN INSPIRATIONAL Southampton teacher has been made an official ambassador for girls' sport.

Matthew Ellerby of St. George Catholic College, was named an official TeamUp Ambassador in the light of his "outstanding dedication" to delivering sport to girls in schools.

It comes as athletes across England celebrate hosting three consecutive women's world cups from 2017-2019 - cricket this year, hockey in 2018 and netball in 2019.

Now Mr Ellerby will be charged with getting as many schools as possible signed up to the TeampUp initiative, which will aim to get thousands of seven to 13 year old girls into sport.

The three year programme has been developed by the England & Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey and England Netball

As one of fifteen ambassadors, Matthew will become the local face of TeamUp, using social media to spread the news about the initiative and introducing TeamUp to colleagues, peers and parents, to ensure school girls experience the benefits of team sport.

Ambassadors will also encourage pupils in their school to become ‘TeamUp Champions’ to help engage their peers in team sport and will be rewarded with a range of great prizes including sports kit, match tickets, signed women’s cricket World Cup shirt and a chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold-out Hockey World Cup Final 2018.

A spokesperson said: "With the help of the new ambassadors, the TeamUp initiative hopes to have a long-term effect on the delivery of school sport.

"The gender gap in participation between girls and boys begins in the later years of primary school and continues to widen in secondary school. #

"Marked gender differences are noted in school sport with 11-15-year-old girls less likely to play for a school team, be a member of a sports club, play sport against others in PE lessons or take part in a competition than boys of the same age.

"One solution to this is support teachers to provide quality opportunities to young girls in school. TeamUp wants to reward those already doing great things to make a difference and provide support to all schools".