Sporty Kidz Director Ellie Beagley campaigns for a Fairer Game in the House of Commons

16th November 2017

Fairer Game!

We are very proud of our Sporty Kidz Director Ellie Beagley, who attended the House of Commons on Tuesday 14th November to discuss Women’s Sport and Equality with the most capped England Player, Rachel Yankey, as part of the Betfair #fairergame for Women in football campaign. This is to promote better training and opportunities for female coaches. There were 3 Lords and 25 MPs in attendance, including Alison McGovern, host Sarah Champion and the Minister for Sport, Tracey Crouch.

Ellie said: “I felt incredibly honoured and empowered to be able to have a voice for females everywhere, discussing with MPs the shortcomings Women are sadly still facing to this day in Football and Sports Coaching; with my experiences from running a coaching company since I was 18, mentoring coaches and attending numerous NGB coaching courses in a variety of sports and my passion for my local Non-League Team Woking FC!

Thanks to the Betfair Fairer Game campaign, I have been selected to do a UEFA B coaching licence, a coaching course which over 10,000 men have completed but only 300 women. Women have made so much progress in other industries, but sadly this isn’t one of them. It was wonderful to meet the other 49 likeminded female coaches selected for the course and share our experiences.

Alison McGovern, the Wirral MP gave an incredible speech where I was shocked to learn how women’s football was registered in 1895. It quickly grew in popularity with women feeling liberated who were playing. In 1920 a boxing day match between Dick, Kerr's Ladies FC and St Helens was watched by 53,000 people at Goodison Park, with another 14,000 fans outside the ground who couldn’t get in! Sadly, a year later, in 1921, the FA banned Women’s football due to it being too much for a woman’s physical frame. The FA called on its clubs to refuse the use of their grounds for any further ladies matches! As an ice hockey player for the Windsor Knights Ice Hockey Team, which is predominantly made up of men and 3 women, I couldn't disagree with this further.

This ban changed the course of the women’s game forever. It wasn’t lifted until 1971! The astounding fact is that only now, almost 100 years later, are women attracting the crowds and attention experienced by their predecessors! “

Rachel Yankey OBE, former Arsenal and England player and Ambassador for the Fairer Game Campaign said: “This campaign is a huge leap in the right direction for women in football and I am really excited to see so much positive support from MPs for such an important issue. The 50 women who were selected are a real credit to women within the industry and their drive and determination to succeed is truly inspiring.”

For more information on the banning of women's football in 1921 please click here.

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