Women’s Euro: Grassroots football facilities in Birmingham to be named after Lionesses

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The Government reveals plans to name local clubs after the team following their Euros 2022 victory - with three players from the West Midlands

Following the Lionesses’ incredible success at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, the Culture Secretary has announced that grassroots facilities will be named after the 23 players in and around each of their respective hometowns - or places that shaped their footballing careers in honour of their achievements.

The West Midlands is home to three of the winning team and there are hopes that local grassroots clubs could benefit.

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Goalkeeper Hannah Hampton was born in Birmingham and grew up in Studley. She currently plays for Aston Villa WFC. Defender Demi Stokes was born in Dudley, but raised in South Shields. Defender Jessica Carter was born in Warwick and her first club was Birmingham City.

The Government believe that naming grassroots facilities after the Lionesses will cement the team’s legacy for generations to come. It is the first time an England team has won such a prestigious victory since the 1966 World Cup.

Thousands cheered on the team in Birmingham as the city sits in the spotlight of sport with the Commonwealth Games underway for another week.

Players of England pose with the UEFA Women’€™s EURO 2022 Trophy after the final whistle of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match with Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022Players of England pose with the UEFA Women’€™s EURO 2022 Trophy after the final whistle of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match with Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022
Players of England pose with the UEFA Women’€™s EURO 2022 Trophy after the final whistle of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match with Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022 | Getty Images

How much money has the Government invested in grassroots football?

The Department for Culture Media & Sport pointed out that it has invested £230 million to improve 8,000 grassroots football and multi-sport facilities by 2025 - alongside the stipulation that they must provide access for women’s and girl’s football.

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They have also set a goal to support the FA’s ambition for the tournament to create half a million extra opportunities for women and girls to play football.

The Government further explained that it has already invested £25 million over the last year in grassroots facilities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - with more than 170 facilities delivered by the Football Foundation, in partnership with the Premier League and the FA.

Hannah Hampton, England Footballer who plays for Aston Villa and England as goalkeeperHannah Hampton, England Footballer who plays for Aston Villa and England as goalkeeper
Hannah Hampton, England Footballer who plays for Aston Villa and England as goalkeeper | Getty Images

Does the government have specific goals for women’s and girl’s football?

The Government said it continues to support the growth of women’s and girl’s football and drive up participation in the sport.

Working alongside the FA, it said that it is determined to achieve their ambition of equal access to football for girls in 90% of schools by 2024. It said its £320 million PE and School Sports Premium School Sport and Activity Action Plan will help more girls to take part in sport and physical activity.

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The government said it also supported the sport during the pandemic with a £2.9 million grant funding which was provided through the Sport Survival Package to the Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship to cover essential costs and allow the completion of their seasons.

It said this was part of the unprecedented £1 billion package to ensure the survival of the grassroots, professional sport and leisure sectors during the pandemic. The staging of EURO 2022 has also been supported with £4.6 million.

Demi Stokes of England looks on during an England Women Training Session at St George's Park on June 21, 2022 in Burton upon TrentDemi Stokes of England looks on during an England Women Training Session at St George's Park on June 21, 2022 in Burton upon Trent
Demi Stokes of England looks on during an England Women Training Session at St George's Park on June 21, 2022 in Burton upon Trent | Getty Images

In addition, the Government listed several high profile women’s tournaments, including the Women’s FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Women’s EUROs as events of national significance.

This means they will now have greater opportunity to be shown on free-to-air television, increasing awareness of the women’s game, providing greater commercial opportunities and inspiring more young girls to take up the sport.

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It has also been announced that a review of the domestic women’s game will launch later this summer, to look at how to grow the game at elite and grassroots level. More details will be set out in the coming weeks.

England's defender Jessica Leigh Carter reacts as she takes part in a team training session at St George's Park in Burton-on-TrentEngland's defender Jessica Leigh Carter reacts as she takes part in a team training session at St George's Park in Burton-on-Trent
England's defender Jessica Leigh Carter reacts as she takes part in a team training session at St George's Park in Burton-on-Trent | AFP via Getty Images

What has the Culture Secretary said about the Lionesses win in her own words?

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The Lionesses have enjoyed amazing success in a record breaking tournament - selling out all of their matches, with over half a million fans at games throughout the competition.

“Millions of women and girls have been inspired by the team’s success and honouring their achievements will mean they leave a lasting impression at grassroots facilities across England.”A message from the editor:Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

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