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Changing the game: Supporting women and girls’ football

Posted by Louise Palmer on 16th August 2022

This is Eloïse. She’s 17 and half-way through her A levels.

And this month she starts her first season playing senior football as left wing back for Southampton Women’s FC reserve team in the FA Women’s National League.

What’s this got to do with tech PR? We may not all be big football fans here at Wildfire — but we are committed to being a positive force for good and enabling others to fulfil their ambitions.

That’s why we’ve signed up to be Eloïse’s official corporate sponsor for her first season.

Ambition into action

The buzz around the Euro 2022 tournament was huge. But for many people, it was the first real exposure to women’s football.

Yet behind the scenes, women have been training, playing, and competing for years with little funding and scant recognition.

For her part, Eloïse has been on Southampton WFC’s pathway scheme for four years. She trains twice a week, plays South West National League matches on Sundays, and attends college full time.

Our sponsorship helps turn Eloïse’s ambition into action by removing some of the financial burden — such as travel to games and purchasing new kit — involved in this level of sport.

A call for greater equality

What’s concerning, is that millions of girls still can’t choose to participate in the sports they love and just 44% of secondary schools in England currently offer equal access to football in PE lessons.

In a recent letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the winning 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO England Squad called for whoever becomes the next prime minister to “make it a priority to invest into girls’ football in schools, so that every girl has the choice”.

Choice creates opportunity

I have eight nieces. The youngest (8) wants to work for Morrisons (inspired by the chirpy delivery driver during lockdown). Another (10) wants to work for NASA. And my eldest niece is a visual effects (VFX) artist for a gaming company.

But to me, it doesn’t matter what they do. What matters is that they have the opportunity to do whatever they want.

Ambition is important. And through Wildfire, I’m proud to be taking action to support young women like Eloïse and play even a small part in creating greater choice, opportunity and equality.

Louise Palmer

Deftly switching between business and consumer accounts, the focus for Louise remains the same; how can Wildfire tell clients’ stories in a way that is faithful, relevant and engaging? Her wide technology PR experience makes Louise an agile Managing Director, combining the strategic management of PR programmes with a hands-on approach to get under the skin of clients and motivate her teams.