Playing football has been a rite of passage for British boys for generations – whether at home, in school, at the park, or in the streets. But this has not been the case for girls – which is a shame, as we should be empowering girls with football.
Football dominates British culture more than any other sport, but this has until now been almost entirely male dominated. In itself, just seeing that such an important part of our life – and the people idolised within it – are almost entirely men, sends out a terrible message of gender inequality.
But also, girls are missing out on one of the simplest games around. To begin, all you need is a ball. As you progress, you can become more organised, join with others, play as a team. When we are increasingly concerned about our girls’ confidence, physicality, and social interactions it seems crazy not to encourage them to engage in a sport that can help with all these, and more.
Empowering girls with football
Thankfully, the Women’s game has greatly increased in visibility in recent years. There has been a concerted effort from many different corners to encourage and empower women and girls in the sport. A part of that has been the financial commitment of SSE. As well as sponsoring the Women’s FA Cup, they have funded grass roots campaigns and have given over 1000 girls the chance to kick a ball and enjoy the beautiful game for the first time.
They have made this film, to highlight the work they do for women’s and girls’ football.
I like the fact that SSE are supporting both the grass roots game AND the elite level, as well as helping girls see the top players in action. The importance of role models cannot be underestimated in the development of out children, and empowering girls with football.
But SSE continue to show their commitment to increasing participation in the women’s game through the creation of the SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Clubs. They will provide girls aged 5-11 with regular opportunities to play football, and take part in organised sessions created exclusively for girls. The clubs will run from spring through summer on a weekly basis, and aim to provide a fun and safe space for girls to learn the game – and make friends.
Even if these girls choose not to pursue football as a pastime, just being able to engage in the game, and seeing women playing this sport at the highest level, is yet another nail in the coffin of the idea that it – and anything else in life – is not for women or girls.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SSE. They are one of the UK’s leading energy companies, supplying energy to around 8.21 million customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland.