The UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 are being held in the Netherlands this year. The England women’s team qualified, but are also joined this year by Scotland for the first time. In the World cup Finals in Canada 2015 the England women’s team came 3rd, so the pressure is on to bring it back home this time. With a very promising start, there is a good chance that we should see them in the final.
Being from Newcastle we are surrounded by football. It’s almost everywhere you turn. In fact one one of the Dad’s that I used to go running with, started the year talking about how his son was on a local grassroots team. By the end of the year, my running partner had joined the club and been trained up as a coach. There is a lot of interest in supporting local grassroots football teams and McDonalds is heavily involved with supporting it’s growth. Over the 15 years of their grassroots football programme they have trained over 30,000 coaches which has helped over 7,000 clubs.
Football and my Girls
Last year Imogen started to show an interest in the game. Not necessarily playing it, but her teacher at school encouraged a football chat through out the class. From out of nowhere she declared that she wanted to go and watch Newcastle United at St James’ Park. So, Grandad Smith arranged for the tickets and the two of them went to watch the match. It was an experience that she keeps talking about, even though Newcastle lost the match.
Through out the remainder of first school she continued with a mild interest in playing and kicking a ball around.
UEFA Woman’s Euro 2017
An advert caught Imogen’s eye on the TV for the UEFA Woman’s Euro 2017. So we made a point of finding out when the England games were on. Catherine took the girls over to her parents house in South Shields to watch the England v Portugal Match on Thursday 27th July. As it was the beginning of the School holidays they made a day of it and took a football down to the beach. She was surprised at how good they were at controlling the ball and playing together with it. Maybe we need to start talking to our coaching friend about taking her on. They already have four girls on their team.
As the night moved on we all settled down as a family to watch the match. The girls were glued to their seats and snaffled a bowl of nachos. It was an amazing result for the night England won 2 -1 against Portugal. This was a much better result to the last time Imogen watched a match with her Grandad. Both Abigail and Imogen seemed to be really chuffed and high fived with each goal.
England are now through to the Quarter Finals, with their next Match being against France. Skimming through the possible outcomes of the matches there is a possible chance of England playing against Spain in the Final. This would be really exciting as we’d be in Spain for that match. I’m sure Imogen would get a buzz from seeing the connection of the two countries.
Since the England V Portugal win the other day. We’ve been a little football crazy. The football is coming everywhere with us and I’m not sure if this is the start of a new hobby. I finished up from work and took both the kids up to the local park where they have a football pitch. After nearly an hour of running around, tackling each other and taking penalty shots at the goal… I was exhausted. It was time to get them home for tea.
I think it’s been fantastic seeing the girls become inspired by the Women’s UEFA Team. What was once a mainly male dominated sport if now seen as “Football for all”. McDonalds has consistently promoted this approach with their community football programme and have encouraged everyone to be involved regardless of their gender or disability. We’re glad to see that we live in a time where equality and inclusivity is supported in football. From a grassroots level we’ve seen that the difference in gender doesn’t mean a difference of ability.