This Thursday (October 11) is the UN’s ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ and Lewes FC Women are embracing the chance to celebrate girls in their forthcoming match against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on Sunday October 14.
The team are releasing a letter written by young fan Nancy Hamilton. Eight year old Nancy wrote it to share with her school mates after attending the recent Lewes FC Women v Arsenal fixture at The Dripping Pan in Lewes.
Along with illustrations of two friends and herself, Nancy wrote: “First I saw my friend Eleanor at the women’s football stadium. Lewes lost against the champions. Lewes is the only team in the world who pay the men and women equally. I know one of the players because my dad works with her. Her name is Shannon Maloney.”
Shannon, who plays centre midfield for the team and does indeed work with Nancy’s Dad Andy Hamilton, said that Nancy came to school clutching the letter along with her Autograph Poster full of player signatures.
Shannon said, “A part of playing for a club that promotes equality is that we really want to set a good example to girls. It’s so amazing that we have children going into school on a Monday writing things like this….acknowledging, off her own back, that we pay the women the same as the men and then sharing that with her classmates!”
The team regularly go to girls’ matches to support the younger teams at Lewes FC. Pictured are Lewes FC Women players Natasha Wells (Left Back) and Amy Taylor (Centre Back) supporting the Under 10s at their match on Sunday. Tash and Amy are in the back row.
Lewes FC Women’s Development Manager Rosy Matheson said, “It’s not easy to become a female footballer so if the team can do anything to ease the way for the next generation, they’re up for it!”
On Sunday the team will be led out onto the pitch by a parade of girl mascots, and are encouraging as many girls as possible to come to watch them play.
The team are also proud to have new volunteer, female sports journalist Megan Fellows, supporting them off the pitch. Megan has taken over the match day Twitter feed for home matches. Megan, 20, said, “Sport is usually a male-dominated environment, so Lewes FC has restored my faith that I can find an opportunity to combine all my passions of sport, social media and equality. Working for Equality FC is just the best feeling!”
At Sunday’s forthcoming home match against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, Lewes will also be supporting the Red Box Project – a scheme which quietly ensures girls have access to free sanitary items in schools, so that no–one misses school during her period because she can’t afford sanitary products. Lewes FC Women Captain Katie McIntyre said “We’re proud to support this great charity which is stopping period poverty. No girl should have to miss school because they can’t afford towels and tampons.” Volunteers from the Red Box Project will be at our turnstiles on the 14th with collection buckets prior to kick off at 2pm.
Both Lewes FC first teams continue to wear their #Whatif shirts from Women in Football, which ask people to identify one way they can take action to contribute to an improvement for women and girls in the football industry.