Euro 2022: Lionesses’ win inspires campaign to get more kids playing

English football fans are accustomed to a new feeling today: winning. The Lionesses’ win against Germany last night is the first time an English national side had won a tournament since 1966. 

The game netted the largest TV audience for a women’s match in UK history — and the highest audience figures for anything on telly this year. It all adds to the sense that, finally, women’s football has hit the big time. 

“The brilliant Euro 2022 tournament has been a milestone in women’s football,” said Courtney Sweetman Kirk, Sheffield United Women and former England U23s. “We must take advantage of the level of engagement from female participants, by removing any barriers that get in the way.”

Kirk is just one of many players who are involved in a campaign to achieve this goal. Football RebootedAllows people to donate unwanted football boots and distribute them to young players from disadvantaged families. 

A reportThe study found that 58% of parents whose children have stopped playing football say that affordability is a problem. 34% of parents fear that they won’t be able afford the next season’s kit and boots.

We must make the most of the engagement level of female participants by removing any obstacles that might be in the way

Former England goalkeeper David James MBE, ambassador for the Football Rebooted campaign, said: “I have absolutely loved watching the Lionesses claw their way through this brilliant tournament, and it pains me to think that future Lionesses may be put off by affordability. The cost of boots or football kit cannot be allowed to be a barrier to anyone playing football.”

He added: “There is enough for everyone, male or female — we just need to think twice about throwing away perfectly good items.”

Main image: Shaun Botterill/Getty

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