Although women’s football matches have been contested since the early 1890s, the rise in popularity the female side of the sport has experienced in recent years has really exemplified changing social attitudes towards women as a whole and what they can achieve when they break free from expected gender roles and pursue their dreams.
With a fourth-place finish at this summer’s World Cup for the Women’s England football team witnessed by 11.7 million television viewers, it seems that this kind of notable achievement and soaring popularity is only going to continue. But how close are we to attaining the same kind of acknowledgement and recognition gifted to the world of men’s football?
Creating a legacy for gender
The consensus at this year’s Coutts-run Creating A Legacy For Gender Equality event suggested that, whilst we’ve already broken down a lot of barriers, we need to concentrate all of our efforts on the future of women’s football if we are to earn the same sort of prestige bestowed on the men’s game.
Represented at the important event by our CEO Francessca and two ambassadors in the form of Demi and Aisha, we partnered with Coutts and shared stage space alongside current England Women’s football head coach, Phil Neville, and three other speakers of note: England cricketer Tammy Beaumont, ex-England and Chelsea winger Karen Carney and retired cricket star Emily Rainford-Brent to discuss these critical issues.
With a definite focus on looking ahead, both Phil Neville and Tammy Beaumont were keen to stress the importance of influencing the potential stars of tomorrow, with Neville noting that investment in “better coaches and better facilities” was vital for the future development of the sport. Beaumont echoed this future-focus by stating “As a team, we don’t just see our role as winning World Cups, winning Ashes, we see it as taking the game forward; taking the cap forward so that when we hand it on to the next people, the game’s in a better place.”
Our CEO Francesca Brown emphasised the importance of increasing media coverage and advertisement amongst women’s sports to boost the visibility of this to young women and girls and for it to become normal for these women to see women who look like them dominating the world of sport.
The role of Goals4Girls
During our time at the event, we were able to raise awareness of our groundbreaking initiatives of overseeing the personal development of all of our girls and helping them to reach targets they otherwise may never have even dreamed of, both on and off the pitch.
Offering advice to the many young girls who attended the event with their schools, Aisha and Demi also heard many stories of how these girls had struggled to fit into such a male-dominated sport – gathering evidence first-hand of our continued need to push for equality and inclusion within not only the realm of football but women’s sport as a whole.
Goals4Girls sits at the front of the crucial initiative to make equality within football possible, and our award-winning football development programme has changed the lives of so many disaffected young women, helping them to develop crucial life skills in tandem with footballing technique. It is our goal to positively impact the lives of all of the girls involved in our programme, and make a change for the better.
Please visit our website to find out more: https://goals4girls.co.uk/