In case you didn’t know the Fifa Women’s World Cup is currently taking place on the other side of the world, in Australia and New Zealand. And if you didn’t know, where have you been hiding?! With 32 countries taking part, this is a fantastic opportunity for women’s football to take centre stage. Excitement is building as obviously England are playing (COME ON!) Also world class teams like the USA, Germany and Sweden to name but a few.
Now, I’ll admit that my small person isn’t massively football obsessed. Rather frustratingly she’s very much on the fence when it comes to sport, frustrating because she is good at most things she turns her hand to – unlike her mother, who wears the clumsy crown apparently. However, we feel sport is important and want her to see lots of women’s sport being played, so the matches have been on TV every day. We were lucky enough to take her to the women’s FA Cup final in 2022 and the recent TikTok rugby six nations. Both with family friendly atmospheres, nail biting action and showcasing incredible talent. But watching this current World Cup, what can I hope that she might take away from it?
A recent post on LinkedIn caught my interest. It was titled, ‘All change. Is it time to review women’s sports kit?’ Reading as a woman who has felt very uncomfortable at times in her sports attire (see below for my rant on skorts) this hit a nerve. I’ve been seeing more on this conversation over the past few years which is great, but on the flipside, it’s crazy that it’s 2022 and this is even a discussion at all. From whether or not elite hockey players should have to wear the dreaded skort, to Wimbledon and England football players having to conform to the all-white kit, (the thought of wearing white and getting your period just raises anxiety levels) So could a simple thing like what you have to wear, stop a girl from even taking part in sport the first place?
Liz Sully, a Fundraising Manager at Women in Sport got in touch to let me know about their ‘What If’ campaign. A positive and empowering campaign, aimed at changing the way young girls view sport. ‘What if, instead of growing up only seeing images of models and make-up on the pages of magazines, young girls saw sport portrayed in a way that made them want to be more physically active?’. This resonated with me having a daughter myself, I would like her to grow up not just seeing images of un-realistic girls in magazines or on television, with flouncy hair and full makeup, but strong, sporty girls who show that anything can be achieved and who show that being active and sweaty is totally normal. The #whatif campaign requires support and backing, Liz explained all to me.
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