Lionesses inspires as all-girls Arnold football club in high demand

Arnold Eagles football club on providing matchday period products and how the Women’s World cup success has increased their demand but lack local investment into facilities.
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The Women’s World Cup has seen an increase in people watching and supporting the Lionesses following last year’s incredible win. Last year England won the 2022 Euros and their success has continued to inspire more women and girls to take up the sport.

Arnold Eagles are Nottinghamshire’s biggest all-female football club and have seen the interest in women’s football develop.Arnold Eagles Club Secretary and Welfare Officer, Steve Weatherby, has been involved with women’s football for around 17 years. He said: “We have had a lot of recruitment since their Euros win but we are having to turn people away as there’s no space.

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“Its not nice turning people away but there’s not enough investment into getting more pitches.

“Ten years ago, we only had 100 girls playing, now we have 350 but the facilities don’t match, we are using four local venues to accommodate our 20 teams.”

Both men and women’s football clubs in Gedling are having to share the pitches and leisure centres as and when they can because the demand is so high. Arnold Eagles Football Club have also been making changes within their club to further support the women in the sport such as providing period products.

The Arnold team in actionThe Arnold team in action
The Arnold team in action

Steve says: “We have started providing every team with emergency period pads in which every manager will carry them in a kit bag. This has been led by our female coaches as they’ve experienced it themselves on match days.

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“Its one of the reasons why we are encouraging players mums and senior players to take up coaching as currently we have 10 female coaches and 50 male coaches.”

As the lionesses continue growing from strength to strength on the pitch, they also continue to inspire off the pitch as more girls are getting involved or have gained the confidence to continue with the sport.

Lauren Wood, 20, from Arnold has been playing football since the age of 8, she says: “As a young girl I never really had a role model but looking at the lionesses I can see for many that there is plenty of female footballers that can be that for them.

“Hopefully it is a start for more sponsorship and funding in women’s football so it can get the recognition it deserves. The win allows young girls to able to dream for the chance to play for their country.

“The development of the women’s game is starting to have a shift in the attitudes surrounding women in sport.”