August 3 – England’s Lionesses have written an open letter to the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss – calling for more girls’ football in schools, but there are fears that the new government will neglect the legacy of the new European champions.
On Sunday, England won the European Championship, defeating Germany 2-1 at a packed Wembley, prompting the team to write a passionate letter to underline that “this is the beginning”.
But the government response was less than encouraging in terms of mandating the game is made available to every girl in every school across the country.
“Currently only 63% of girls can play football in PE lessons. The reality is we are inspiring young girls to play football, only for many to end up going to school and not being able to play,” wrote the Lionesses.
“This is something that we all experienced growing up. We were often stopped from playing. So we made our own teams, we travelled across the country and despite the odds, we just kept playing football.
“Women’s football has come a long way. But it still has a long way to go.
“We ask you and your government to ensure that all girls have access to a minimum of two hours a week PE. Not only should we be offering football to all girls, we also need to invest in and support female PE teachers too.
“Their role is crucial and we need to give them the resources to provide girls’ football sessions. They are key role models from which so many young girls can flourish.”
The letter called for investment into girls football in schools “so that every girl has the choice”.
The government, however, said that schoolgirls will not be guaranteed the same football lessons as boys. Only 44% of secondary schools offer the same football lessons to girls and boys in the UK.
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