Following the Women’s Euros 2022 tournament, the success of the Lionesses has been inspiring for many girls around the country. It was the first time an England team, men or women, had won the whole competition! We spoke to Jess, a player from a local team and aspiring football coach, about her personal reflections from the historic month.
Jess volunteered at the fan festivals where supporters and families gathered to enjoy food, music and entertainment, as well as to watch some of the world’s best players in action on the big screens.
“I learnt that the fan parties were important in promoting the Women’s Euros and different roles possible within football such as refereeing as well as building the atmosphere before the game. Alice, Flo and the rest of the Hampshire FA team supported me throughout the fan parties which helped me to be myself and grow as a person. They encouraged me to get involved in a range of activities and gave me the space to run the activities as I felt best but they were there to help if I needed it.”
She also told us she felt, “inspired,” by the Lionesses breaking boundaries, throwing shade at the members of the public who say women shouldn’t play football.
“I became inspired by the Lionesses not listening to those who say women shouldn’t play football and showing everyone just how good they are. The tournament broke so many records and brought the whole nation together, especially during extra time in the final when everyone was willing them on to win. Seeing all the fans at the fan parties before the games and feeling the atmosphere in the stadiums was special to be a part of and shows just how popular women’s football is and hopefully it will continue to grow from the legacy of this tournament.”
Jess said that the experience encouraged her to sign up to a coaching course from the FA as she realised she really wanted to have a career in football. When asked about her aspirations, she told us, “My dream was to become a footballer, but I know it is very hard to become one, so I am now looking at alternative options within the football industry. I am currently exploring options for football coaching and am continuing to play for my local team Fleet Town Ladies FC.”
The effect the success of the Lionesses is having on girls has seen unprecedented attention come to the women’s game. Jess is just one of many influenced and this shows the power of role models and the media in empowering and promoting sport. As the women’s game becomes more popular, it is set for exponential growth with many positive implications.
Find out more about how you can get involved in women’s football on our UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Legacy page: http://www.hampshirefa.com/about/uefa-womens-euro-2022-legacy