Like many other dads of daughters, I don’t see the fact that my child is a girl as a reason not to share my hobbies, interests, and passions with her. When I was a child, I had zero interests in common with my parents and that has carried on to adulthood. For me, it’s wonderful to (so far) be able to bond with my daughter over shared interests.
But it’s not only selfish reasons why I do this. I see genuine value in the things I am encouraging her to engage in, that will help in her growth and development. Increasingly, Football is one of these areas where dads and daughters are bonding over.
SSE, sponsors of the Women’s FA Cup, shared with me the story of 12-year-old Daisy McGregor and her father Kenny. He is a passionate football fan, and has been taking her to see his beloved Peterborough United since she was 5. She loved it.
At age 6, Daisy was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, a condition which causes her to to have various involuntary spasms such as coughing and twitching. It’s been a very stressful thing for her to live with – but Daisy found something that helped her cope with it: playing football.
Starting with simple kickabouts with her dad, he then encouraged her to join the local all-girls side Yaxley Football Club. The positive effect on her symptoms has been huge.
Check out more on their story in this video, the latest in the SSE Dads and Daughters series:
So what started out as simply a dad sharing his passion for football with his daughter, has developed into a life changing activity for her. Us dads shouldn’t feel uneasy about engaging our daughters in this way. Just because it’s something we as men love, which hasn’t been considered a ‘girly’ activity or interest in the past, doesn’t mean it can’t be something that girls won’t engage with fully too.
It’s great that Daisy was able to find a girl’s club near her. The girls’s game is getting a tremendous boost from The FA SSE Girls Participation Programme, with more than 60 clubs taking part around the UK, giving a much needed boost to the number of girls only football settings.
I’ll support any campaign with the goal to increase girls participation in sport, boost their confidence, break down gender stereotypes, and celebrate the positive outcomes when dads bond with their daughters.
For more on Daisy and Kenny McGregor, and the SSE’s Dads and Daughters campaign, head to their website.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SSE, one of the UK’s leading energy companies, supplying energy to around 8.21 million customers throughout the UK and Ireland.