The rise and rise of women’s footballAmanda McDonald
As an agency with expertise in sports marketing and a passion for all things sport, we’ve been pleased to watch from the stands the meteoric rise of women’s football.
According to research undertaken by UEFA in 2016/17, there are now over 1.270 million registered female players in the UK and this figure is set to rise even further as interest in the sport increases.
As UEFA comments, the “women’s game has blossomed in spectacular style to become a football attraction in its own right”.
More and more organisations are getting involved in the sport, and targets are high. In fact, the Football Association has committed to doubling the number of women playing and watching the game by the end of the decade.
One such organisation is ‘Women in Football’, which champions female talent and aims to address the gender imbalance in the football industry. It brings together football presenters, players and policy makers to drive change in the sport.
Schools are also playing a vital role in engaging more and more young girls in football, with the number of registered players under 18 now standing at over 827,000. The FA is an active supporter of the initiative and leads on a secondary schools’ programme which aims to put “football at the heart of school life”.
At grass-roots level, organisations such as Sported are also supporting community football for girls. For example, community football club, ‘Coventrians’ ladies’ teams are creating opportunities for local girls to play football and stay active in a fun and supportive environment, whilst charity, Granby Somali Women’s Group (GSWG) based in Toxteth, Liverpool has established a football project for BME women and girls.
All these efforts are coming together to accelerate growth in the sport. Karen Espelund, chairwoman of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee, says “UEFA has pledged, as one of its priority activities, to constantly promote and nurture women’s and girls’ football. This pledge is paying handsome dividends. It is extremely heartening to see how Europe’s national associations have responded with concrete actions and programmes to give women and girls the opportunity to become involved in the game.”
Women’s football continues to gather pace and looks set to grow even further over the forthcoming years. At Yes Agency, we’ll certainly be showing our support.