We’ll Score The Winning Goal For Girls On The Day We Get Fair Play

Hey everyone. I bring your attention to a story which would have gone largely unnoticed if Kate Higgins hadn’t retweeted a tweet from Glasgow City Ladies Football Team informing us that Scotland’s Kim Little had won PFA Women’s Player of the Year at the PFA Awards.

This to me is a very important story as well as being another great achievement for one of the best Scotland footballers of her generation and to beat her fellow Scotland International teammate Julie Fleeting and England internationals Kelly Smith Rachel Yankee and so many more genuinely showed the esteem with which she is held by her fellow professionals

Unfortunately I didn’t see too much about this award in the national press. This not only insulting to Kim Little but disrespectful to women’s football. Well let’s be honest if it was coverage by results rather than traditions or habits this would have been the lead story in Scotland on Monday morning. However the coverage of women’s sports in Scotland and indeed the UK is disgraceful especially when you consider the fact that some of the stars who shone brightest during last year’s summer of sport were women.

These female sports stars such as Catherine Grainger, Jessica Ennis, and Victoria Pendleton received excellent coverage when their country needed them but since the Olympics there has been barely a whisper of them or their sport. Of course it should be noted that the women’s football team did pretty well as well, but one thing puzzles me, when Glasgow City reached the last 16 of Champions League where was the TV coverage?

Also I have to ask myself a question When were the Scottish men’s football team last ranked 23rd in the world as the ladies team currently are? It is I think a pretty safe bet to say it hasn’t happened since Glasgow enjoyed the status of European City of Culture in 1990 and that by way is in my opinion a very generous estimate.

The lack of coverage of women’s sport and women’s football in particular really hacks me off. You could say that lack of fair play is a red card offence. I say this both in anger and in the hope that things may change. It won’t be easy but I know it can be done and one of the reasons that I believe its possible is because there are forces at work who want to facilitate a change in attitudes towards sporting equality for women.

You see there are political opponents for whom I have tremendous respect one such opponent is Jo Swinson who in my opinion is one of the best politicians in Scotland and the work she does to promote positive body images for girls and young women in Scotland and throughout the UK will prove to be a valuable asset in years to come.

This is a personal issue for me. A few months ago the daughter of a family who are friends from my local church won player of the year from her football team for the second year in the row. On congratulating her on her award I asked her why she thought there was such negative stereotypes about girls and women’s football and found her attitude was both insightful and revealing.

In a brief chat in the middle of a very busy Sunday our future star said
‘Its like everyone thinks that because you play football you want to be a boy’ she said honestly ‘I’m a girl and I’m happy I’m a girl I don’t want to be a boy but its trying to explain to people that girls can play football too. People need to stop teasing us and just let us play’. At the end of our chat I asked her if she wanted to be the next Julie Fleeting, after Kim Little’s well deserved award it is good to see she has more than one choice of Scottish role model but as she so eloquently makes the point the winning goal for girls will be scored on the day we get fair play.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

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