Last Thursday at the MCWFC game against Notts County Ladies the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation announced its partnership with the Manchester club, entitled Changing the Game for Girls: In Action. MCWFC will use the WSFF’s thirty years’ experience to work more effectively with females to provide a lasting impact on sport. As a female looking to work in sport in the very near future, for me this is a very important collaboration, so I went along to the match to help raise awareness and chat to matchgoers about the partnership.
Most of the girls I spoke to were excited at the prospect of being professional footballers in the future; they looked blankly at me when I said that in my day that just wasn’t an option. They probably thought I was a million years old but it’s true! You would have been laughed out of school for saying that you wanted to work in football, or cricket, or in any sport that wasn’t ballet or equestrianism.
The shift is thanks in part to organisations like the WSFF who are educating and empowering women and girls, enabling them to get involved in sport. So far the coverage of the Commonwealth Games has also been strengthening the position of females in sport; I knew it was on but it was still a pleasant surprise to see the netball on the BBC yesterday (like, they actually covered a full match and not just highlights!), and so far women have won the majority of England’s medals. I’m most excited to watch Zoe Smith and the incredible 15-year-old Rebekah Tiler compete in the weightlifting, traditionally seen as a masculine event but now dominated by female personalities.
Chris and I made a pledge, as you can see above – his idea! – so from now on I pledge never to be worried about going into the weights room. Your choice of sport should not be affected by gender stereotypes, whether that be water polo or weightlifting; the same goes for your choice of career.
And if you still say that football isn’t for girls, I challenge you to take on City Women’s. They’ll certainly teach you a thing or two about kicking a ball.