This weekend, two great women's clubs - Liverpool Feds of the WPL1 (Tier 4), and Haringey Borough of the Eastern Premier (Tier 5) - are making a great step to build the profile of women's football in their local communities.
They have each spent the last few weeks designing an event, producing and distributing materials, and rallying support in their community. The ambition of these #OurOctober events is to attract local schools, clubs, organisations and communities to a single game, putting the players' skills and talents on show, raising the profile of the club and creating a spectacle that will attract new players to join women's football.
For their part, Liverpool Feds have been extremely vocal, through their social media and website - and got their efforts recognised by the Liverpool Echo, a phenomenal achievement. They've arranged for the whole club to get involved, with their first-teamers watching the youth matches today, and the youths returning the favour tomorrow. Lastly, through their local network into WSL teams, they've organised for two Liverpool Ladies legends, Natasha Dowie and Becky Easton, to attend and meet local fans.
Haringey Borough, in their typical manner, have been really creative, securing the services of a cycle-powered Smoothie bar, putting on refreshments (including an amazing cake!), organising a raffle and arranging for pre-game and half-time fun football activities to get girls from local clubs onto the pitch and noticed. This kind of event will be great in improving the visibility of the club as they look to expand the size of their club in future seasons.
However, it does highlight another issue in women's football. Neither of these teams has been able to find sponsorship for the last few seasons, in spite of their levels (Tier 4/5) and successes (Feds missed out on promotion to the WPL in the final game of last season). And a number of teams across the pyramid continue to struggle.
With this in mind, we want to do our part to alleviate some of these issues next year - and will shortly be launching the Soccerella Sponsorship Survey. We will identify how successful clubs have been able to secure funding, and to share these learnings with the rest of the clubs. We feel that collaboration is the best way to grow the profile of women's football - and we remain committed to doing our part!
For now, good luck to Feds and Haringey! You're both going to smash it!
Ashley at Soccerella
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