We held a series of events to celebrate the progress in women’s football and to examine what can be done to ensure everyone can benefit from the game’s development.
From Hackney Marshes to Wembley - Ensuring the whole game benefits
Since the last World Cup, the financial investment into women’s football has increased significantly. Most recently, FIFA promised to double the World Cup prize money, Barclays has been unveiled as the sponsor of the Women's Super League, and the FA now requires clubs to demonstrate a certain level of financial backing in order to compete in the top divisions. But who is this investment benefitting? Does the increased funding reach grassroots teams? And through this increased focus on capital, can women’s football preserve its identity and independence from the men’s game? Our panel has representatives from grassroots to elite level, and will shine the light on these questions and more from the perspective of players, coaches and spectators. With the World Cup coming to an end, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss what's next for the women's game.
Pallavi Patel (Pav) and Vivienne Jeffers (Viv) - co-founders of East London Ladies FC, Anita Asante (Chelsea FC), Hackney Laces Founder Katie Hui, Match Pint founder Dom Collingwood and writer & broadcaster Carrie Dunn.
Chaired by Fadumo Olow.
Football Fans - Who are ya?
If you Google image search ‘football fan’, you get rows and rows of near-identical young males with the occasional hyper-sexualised woman. For the world’s most popular sport, the internet and media show a shocking lack of diversity among its fan base. Join us for a discussion of what really makes a football fan. Can women, non-binary and LGBT+ people be considered fans? Are they different from the typical macho supporter? Do they want something different from their match day experience? And is there a distinction between fans of women’s football and of men’s football?
Come and hear from Amy Drucquer - This Fan Girl, Jo Turner - journalist, writer and Leyton Orient fan, Emma Wright - Proud and Palace, Hayley Bennett - Nutmegs, Amy Wilson - Centre for Access to Football in Europe and Chaired by: Crystal Davis - Kick It Out.
HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN
The Power of Football
Football has the power to change lives. Come and hear how from some of the women who are not only changing the sport, but using the sport to change society.
Sharing their experiences and work within the beautiful game will be Football Beyond Borders, a charity using football to empower young people, Ceylon Hickman and Debra Nelson - Football Beyond Borders, Karen Dobres and Shannon Moloney - Lewes FC Women, Chris Paouros - co-founder of Proud Lilywhites and member of FA Inclusion Advisory Board and Coach Ali Speechly.
This session will give you the opportunity to ear about the work of these inspiring individuals first-hand and to get inspired to use football and sport for positive change.
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN
Womxn and Football - Levelling the Playing Field
In recent years, the popularity of women’s football has grown incredible amounts. More than 45,000 people watched the 2018 FA Cup Final live at Wembley – an increase of over 10,000 on the previous year, the FA is working to double women’s participation by 2020, and female pundits are fast becoming the norm. Yet there are still significant inequalities throughout the game. Women rarely feature in footballing boardrooms. Female coaches and match officials are few and far between. Women of colour are represented even less. In the years since Eni Aluko helped inspire important conversations about race and discrimination, the Rainbow Laces campaign encouraged discussions of sexuality and diversity, and reactions to Alex Scott’s punditry have forced an examination of the continued sexism within the sport, we want to look at how sex, gender, race and sexuality impacts the game at the grassroots level. What more can be done to ensure better representation of women, women of colour, LGBT+ women and non-binary people across football? What can each of us do to help make our own clubs more inclusive?
Levelling the Playing Field will be a day of interactive workshops and creative sessions to network, examine how the grassroots can tackle discrimination across the board, and create an inclusive game regardless of sex, gender, race, sexuality, or class.