At some level, elite sport is surely about little more than the writing of names into the annals of history; on Saturday, Chelsea LFC and Notts County Ladies FC wrote theirs large as the first two women’s football teams to contest the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, doing so in front of 30,170 fans.
Since the England team faced Germany at Wembley last autumn, the countdown has been on to women’s football’s next moment at the national stadium and, with a number of England’s World Cup bronze medallists on show, the domestic showpiece couldn’t have been a more fitting occasion to celebrate women’s football. While it was Chelsea delirious at full-time, following a deserved 1-0 victory, throughout the match the sentiment was clear: whoever was to lift the famous trophy, women’s football had reinforced a message that’s been building inexorably in the past few years; fans want to see more on the country’s biggest stages.
Prior to the match, Women in Sport’s Women’s Sport Network came together to mark the historic occasion and hear women working and playing in the country’s national game discuss the importance of these historic occasions. Compered by Women in Football Board member, 5Live Producer and Football Agent Jo Tongue, Kait Borsay and Lynsey Hooper (The Offside Rule), Sally Hancock (Chair of Women in Sport and Sponsorship Consultant for SSE) and Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City WFC player) addressed themes including media coverage, sponsorship and player support in women’s sport.
The Women’s Sport Network exists because, at Women in Sport, we know that strong leadership is vital for sport and that women have a vital role to play in making that happen. Through the Women’s Sport Network, we bring together professional from across business and sport who are passionate about developing women’s leadership across the sector. For Women in Sport, membership fees from the Women’s Sport Network help to bring vital income to the charity to help us achieve our vision of transforming sport for the benefit of every woman and girl in the UK.
If you want to join us at future events like this and see what the Women’s Sport Network can bring to you, membership is now open until 30 September 2015.