For far too long, women’s football has taken a back seat to the men’s game. But the upcoming Women’s EURO 2022, which kicks off in Manchester in July, looks set to shift the dynamics.
The hype around the tournament has already begun. Manchester recently transformed Cathedral Gardens into a football festival where families had the opportunity to get involved in an array of sporting and fitness activities, and immerse themselves in the build-up to one of the most exciting sporting events of the summer.
My eldest daughter (aged eight) is a keen footballer and plays for our local club, Altrincham FC. So we decided to head down with some of her teammates and enjoy the football festivities.
Leaving a lasting legacy for the women’s game is one of the key goals of UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, and events like the roadshow have been created to help introduce more people to the women’s game and to create incredible memories for people who take part.
My daughter had a ball (no pun intended) with her friends as they learned new football tricks, took part in keepy-up challenges, had a go as a BBC football commentator (which she loved), and learned about the art of referring.
A host of friendly people encouraged us to take part in an array of football activities, which weren’t just for the kids. In addition, my daughter and her pals were interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester, which was a particular highlight. And a number of professional footballers were on hand to talk about the game, share tips and inspire young footballers.
Joanne Roney, chief executive of Manchester City Council, says: “Manchester being one of the hosts for the Women’s EURO 2022 tournament is a wonderful opportunity for our city. Footballing passion runs deep here and this could not be a better time to create a real sense of buzz and excitement around the women’s game. Making football accessible is incredibly important if we are to encourage young people from all walks of life into the sport. Events like this roadshow are a great way to introduce people into the footballing community and show that everyone has a place in this game.”
Manchester is one of ten host cities taking part in the roadshow which, over the course of 43 days, will travel more than 800 miles across the country. The aim of the roadshow is to promote the Women’s Euros and to create incredible memories. It certainly created some great memories for our family as we talked about the event for the rest of the weekend.
We can’t wait to watch the Women’s Euros and we hope that ‘football will be coming home’ for the England women this summer.
Tournament ticketing information: www.uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing