Just a reminder that tomorrow (10th March) is Women at the Game day for Enfield Town FC.
Along with a number of other clubs throughout March, there will be free female entry to a game, v Lowestoft Town in our case, to mark International Women's Day on 8th March.
Women at the Game have been in touch to remind everyone of the background to their initiative:
The brainchild of Women at the Game is Jacqui Forster. The idea is to give women their first taste of live football in a supportive environment or to create a friends’ group for women to be together who are seasoned match-goers who are not comfortable in the usual male dominated crowd – going in an all-female group that’s supportive and welcoming.
Forster, an Altrincham FC fan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February 2015 – and is using some money that friends raised for her to get this project up and running.
The first Women at the Game event was at Jacqui’s home club when they played Gloucester at the start of January. Hitchin Town followed, and Enfield Town have already had one match last season. Since last year, the initiative has also been taken up by Premiership Clubs, with Manchester City hosting a second event as part of their match versus Basel in the Champions League, in the week of International Women's Day. It's an initiative making waves across the game, and it's great that Enfield Town are taking part again.
Women have been going to football for as long as there have been organised matches, of course – newspaper reports from the 19th century prove it, and not far away Brentford were known as the Ladies’ Team in the 1920s because of the number of female fans following them home and away.
But it’s understandable that women might not consider going to a live game, even if they enjoy watching it on television. If you’ve gone to football since you were a child it might be difficult to see that it’s not always a great place for newcomers – all the chants that everyone else seems to know, struggling to navigate your way round the ground, not knowing where to get a cup of coffee...maybe they seem like little things, but they all add up.
Women at the Game events aim to change that – they give women the chance to watch a game together, alongside female fans who have been going for years and can introduce them to all the quirks and foibles of the team, the club, the ground and the fans.
It’s an exciting time for women in football. Internationally and domestically - through clubs like Enfield Town Ladies FC - we're seeing just why football is the fastest-growing participation sport for women. Off the pitch, too, there are more and more opportunities for women to work in football, whether that’s in administration, coaching, officiating or journalism.
And Women at the Game is part of that. It’s intended to show everyone what a fun and rewarding experience it can be to go to football…and perhaps even support a team.
Enjoy the match!
Updated 18:11 - 11 Mar 2018 by Ken Brazier