Manchester City Women’s Football Club (MCWFC) has entered into a groundbreaking partnership with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), it was announced today.
The deal will see the WSFF logo featured on training wear, including the pre-match shirt and walk out jacket, for the team’s debut season in the FA Women’s Super League.
This agreement represents the first non-commercial partnership for the women’s team and is designed to raise awareness about the opportunities available to women and girls through sport. Research shows that only 8% of 14 year old girls meet recommended physical activity levels (Health Survey for England, 2012) and by adulthood 1.8 million more men than women play sport every week (Sport England Active People Survey 7). 56% of women play no sport at all (Women and Girls aged 14+ in England, APS 7).
The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation was founded in 1984 and is the UK charity committed to transforming sport for the benefit of every woman and girl in the country. By drawing on its unique insights, WSFF champions the right of every woman and girl in the UK to take part in and benefit from physical activity.
The announcement follows a re-launch of Manchester City’s women’s team in January this year at the Etihad Stadium which was attended by leading figures in the world of women’s sport, as well as by the coaches of Manchester City’s First and EDS team managers Manuel Pellegrini and Patrick Vieira and New York City FC’s Head Coach Jason Kreis. The re-launch event incorporated the announcement of an extensive girls’ and women’s community coaching programme and the team’s name change from Manchester City Ladies Football Club to Manchester City Women’s Football Club.
MCWFC’s home games will be played at the Regional Athletics Arena for the 2014 season before they move to the 7000 capacity stadium at the City Football Academy for 2015. City play their first game in the Women’s Super League on 17th April away to Liverpool Ladies and will take on Bristol Ladies on 20th April.
Steph Houghton, City defender and newly appointed England Women’s Captain said of the deal:
“I am so pleased to see Manchester City partnering with an organisation as important as the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation.
“The quality of women’s football has grown so much over the past few years and it is fantastic to see more people playing and watching the game. The relationship between MCWFC and WSFF will really help to boost awareness of what women can achieve at the top levels of sport.
“I speak for the whole squad when I say that we would love to inspire a new generation of female sports stars.”
Ruth Holdaway, CEO of WSFF added:
“This partnership with MCWFC is the first time we have officially collaborated with a football team and we are delighted that one of the biggest clubs in world sport is demonstrating such a strong commitment to the women’s game. Our shared values will help create a strong pathway to get women more involved in sport.
“This new venture presents a fantastic opportunity to champion the right of every woman and girl in the UK to take part in, and benefit from, sport; from the field of play to the boardroom, from early years and throughout her life.”
Tom Glick, Managing Director of City Football Marketing said:
“This is a ground breaking partnership for women’s sport, and Manchester City Women’s Football Club is honoured to work with the highly respected Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation.
“As we enter our very first season in the FA Women’s Super League it’s important to us that we have the right partners on board. We hope that this unique partnership will have a real and lasting impact on girls’ and women’s sport both in the UK and worldwide.
“The players are fantastic role models to young people and we, with the WSFF, are fortunate to have a platform to showcase that to the next generation of sportswomen.”