Organisations across the activities and fitness sector have risen in support of the Lionesses’ victory at the Women’s Euro. England’s National women’s squad stormed to a 2-1 victory against Germany to near 100,000 spectators, with millions watching at home.
Alongside the sector, The Lionesses themselves drew attention to the challenges they endured as female athletes. In an open letter to Rishi Sunak, they argued that more had to be done to offer equal access in school for girls to play and excel in football. It is those first negative experiences of sport that lead to a lifelong impact on sporting endeavours.
Senior Lecturer at the University of East London, Shrehan Lynch, noted her experience when discussing PE. She argued that equal access to sport is not as simply about accessibility. Poor experiences of PE and sport in school, including everyday sexism from a young age, play themselves out in the inequalities between men’s and women’s leagues perforating every area of sport for women and girls.
According to England Football, only 44% of girls have equal access to football in schools. Despite the success of the Premier League Kicks that brought 300 women’s players to Nottingham in July, more needs to be done to create an equal playing ground for female footballers.
To find out more about accessibility in sport and physical activity for girls, see here.