Will women’s game grow?

Friday 12th August 2022 4:00 pm

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Public opinions on women’s sport - Lynsey Carson and Joan Carson (visiting from Belfast, Northern Ireland)

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After England created history by winning their first major women’s tournament in dramatic fashion last week, the Isle of Man Examiner asked the public about the Euro 2022 tournament and whether there are enough opportunities for girls and women to get involved in the sport.

England saw off a strong Germany side in extra-time of the Euro 2022 final.

Clare Barber, MHK for Douglas East, believes that the Lionesses’ victory, as well as the Manx Youth Games approach to football, encourages girls in the island to try the sport.

Mrs Barber said: ‘Men’s football gets really good coverage and everyone watches it, but I think this has definitely brought people on a journey with women’s football, that has been there for years.

‘I was fortunate I did have an opportunity to play football, rugby, basketball and all sorts at school, but it’s interesting because the Manx Youth Games puts girls’ football on a really front and centre footing, which I think is brilliant.

‘It’s interesting that the Manx Youth Games have recognised there is an under representation in girls’ football and those with additional needs and it prioritises that to give people the opportunity to try it out.’

Lynsey and Joan Carson said although they didn’t watch the competition, they feel the success will inspire girls across the British Isles.

Lynsey, from Belfast, said: ‘I think it’s a big thing for girls to go forward with football, and everyone should definitely be given the option if they want to play it.

‘My daughter doesn’t really follow football but she likes playing it with her friends, although there’s no real teams where we are, which is a big problem.’

Joan Carson said: ‘It doesn’t really matter what gender you are, if you’re good at something and want to play a sport it should be an option.’

Janet Crellin and granddaughter Phoebe Allsey think the England women’s tournament victory is ‘brilliant’ for women in general.

Ms Crellin said: ‘What the women have done is just great and we’ve showed the men really haven’t we!’

‘When I was in school I didn’t really like any sports expect rugby, I loved rugby.’

Phoebe, 11, said she does get opportunities to play football in school but doesn’t enjoy it as much as dancing.

She said: ‘I like dancing but I do it outside of school, I like cheer and hip hop.’

Breeshey Harkin, of Foxdale, believes the TV audience numbers and the atmosphere generated by the large crowd at the Euro 2022 final will be a big motivation for girls to start playing football.

She said: ‘It’s inspiring to see women playing with that much of an audience and it being that exciting.

‘I actually had to leave in extra-time and go into the kitchen because I couldn’t take the pressure.

‘And the first goal, it wasn’t just any goal, it was an amazing bit of steely nerves and skill.

‘It’s had so much press and publicity which is great as well.’

When asked about opportunities for girls to play football in school she said: ‘I don’t remember it being much of a thing when I was in school myself, but I was interested in other sports.

‘I have been a teacher since and it’s offered certainly in the high schools I’ve worked in, and girls absolutely love it.

‘I think the more opportunities for everyone to do a bit of everything the better.’

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