Lincolnshire was in Lionesses fever on Saturday [22nd July] as England Football’s Big Football Day event landed at clubs across the County.
The campaign saw clubs from all four corners of Lincolnshire host their own respective Big Football Day events, designed to create opportunities for women and girls to take their first steps into Football whilst supporting England’s Lionesses as they began their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Haiti – which resulted in a 1-0 win following Georgia Stanway’s converted penalty.
The Big Football Day was part of the wider #LetGirlsPlay campaign.
Clubs had the chance to run taster sessions for girls either wanting to give it a go for the first time or play regularly, as well as hosting watch parties with banners, face paints, foam fingers, and temporary tattoos.
Here’s a few highlights from clubs across Lincolnshire:
Boston United FC
Boston hosted their Big Football Day at the Jakemans Community Stadium, which saw a fantastic turnout to watch and cheer on the Lionesses. Everyone then made their way out onto the 3G astro at the stadium to take part in some taster sessions, which saw a range of different age groups – including the club’s Wildcats group.
The day coincided with a pre-season friendly for the club’s men’s first team against Notts County, and so following some pre-match indoor activities were invited onto the pitch for a half time parade around the stadium.
Barton Inclusive FC
Barton Inclusive welcomed players and their families from across the club to join their watch party as they cheered on England as they defeated Haiti in their opening game of the tournament. They even made some delicious-looking England cakes and buns.
Barton Town FC kindly hosted the event.
Lincoln United WFC
Lincoln United WFC hosted their own Turn Up & Play session as part of the Big Football Day event as well as watching Georgia Stanway secure the Lionesses 3 crucial points. Coach at Lincoln United WFC, Gemma Bell, spoke to Sophie – one of the U13 players at the club.
“It’s been really good to see the girls’ teams grow at Lincoln United, it makes me really proud”, she said.
Lincoln City Foundation
Lincoln City hosted their Big Football Day event at the LNER Stadium, inside the 200-club lounge. The girls in attendance watched the game with their families before heading outside and playing some football on the 3G pitches opposite the ground.
Cleethorpes Town Girls
Cleethorpes Town Girls celebrated Big Football Day with a Wildcats World Cup tournament, which saw 40 players broken down into nations competing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup – with Spain coming out on top! Everyone then made their way into the Linden Club to watch the Lionesses begin their campaign in style.
Sleaford Town JFC Girls
Sleaford hosted their Big Football Day event at Eslaforde Park where the girls in attendance had a fantastic morning. An hour playing football in the typically British summer rain was followed by watching England win their game against Haiti, mixed in with foam fingers, temporary tattoos and face paints.
We’re told the foam fingers became foam swords by the end of the day!
Lincolnshire FA would like to thank all the clubs across the County who took part in the Big Football Day campaign and created further opportunities for women and girls to take their first steps into football, and providing the opportunity for families to come together to support England’s Lionesses and get World Cup fever well and truly flowing. None of these events can happen without the incredible volunteers across the Lincolnshire football family and so a special thank you goes out to the people who made these events happen, and continue to make the opportunities in Lincolnshire possible.
Steph Powell, Head of Football Development, said: “It was fantastic to see so many clubs nationwide engage with the Big Football Day but in particular to see Lincolnshire clubs really get behind our Lionesses was great. It is so important to have the backing and support from clubs and volunteers to provide opportunities for our young girls' so that they can see that football is as much a space for them as it is for their male friends, brothers and dads. I hope they see the Lionesses as the norm, that we can continue to be at the forefront of Women & Girls' Development in the County and that the clubs and their girls keep cheering on the Team! There is a legacy to build upon here so let's keep the momentum going... Come on Lionesses!”.
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