Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Women's football needs YOU!

I wrote this article last week for The Football Blogging Awards page:

"I've recently started blogging about women's football, mainly general news articles and sexism issues within the sport. I try to cover stories about female players, officials, supporters and media personnel and in this time I've learnt a lot about the women's side of the game. What's becoming more and more apparent though are the changes within the sport. The gradual improvement and awareness it's finally gaining. For years now, women's football has been regarded as a joke in comparison to men's. Football forums, newspaper articles and TV programmes have all shown to narrow mindedness we unfortunately face from the British public.
But times are changing; women and men are both speaking out in favour of more women's football, from grassroots players to well-known celebrities and professional players. In recent years, we've seen England's national women's side remain one of the top FIFA ranked teams in the world. The FA has started boosting opportunities at grassroots levels by encouraging more females to get involved in the game. They've made more of an effort to promote playing opportunities, centre of excellences, free coaching courses and much more. BT Sport recently played its part by televising the FA Women's Super League this summer and the BBC covered the recent European championships from Sweden in July. BBC now have a weekly women's football show and Sky Sports have a weekly 'Sportswomen' programme, the only negative is that these are late time slots, but nevertheless it is progress.

Female broadcasters Gabby Logan, Jacqui Oatley and Charlotte Green are all becoming household names in the media world and great ambassadors for the future development of women involved in football. Helen Grant, newly appointed sports minister, has spoken out against the FA's new commission board not including a female representative in the news this week. Controversial stories regarding sexism by famous TV presenters, journalist, football board members and others associated with the game, are now becoming more apparent. No longer are women taking the back seat and letting gender stereotypes take control of their passion for football.
An average women's football match ticket for premier teams or even the national team, costs £5/£2.50. It's pennies in comparison to the male equivalent, which is why women's football needs more support from the public. TV and newspaper companies will only cover the sport if there is more participation and demand; it's an unfortunate but true fact. I urge any of you reading this to ignore the old “girls can't play football” taboo and go visit your nearest team play.  Women's football has come a long way in the last decade and it still has a long way to go and it needs your help!"

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