As the Women's World Cup has kicked off, we would like to recognize and promote what females do within football at the AFA and surrounding areas.
We have spoken to several women in football, whether it be a coach or a member of staff at the office. We are incredibly proud to showcase our female talent!
Feature 3 - Hannah Martin and Charlotte Lawrence
Hannah: President and player Clapham United, Reserves Div 2 North and newly promoted 1st team in premier div GLWFL
Charlotte: Coach and player of Clapham United Reserves (Div 2 North)
How long have you been in this role:
Hannah: President for 4 years when role was introduced, committee member before that, player for 14 years since club was founded in 2005
Charlotte: Coach for two seasons and a player for 6 seasons. Han is one of the club's original members- a real stalwart!
What do you like about doing this role:
Hannah: I love having an overview of the club and a say in what goes on. As a founding member of the club its nice to be able to make sure the things are continuing in a positive way and growing stronger every season. The club has given me some of my best friends (and fiancée!)
Charlotte: I love playing in a club that focuses totally on the fun and enjoyment of the game. Since I joined my teammates have become my best friends and my family. The AFA were kind enough to organise an all female, level one coaching course - which myself and a few of the girls attended. It was fantastic and I love having the opportunity now to help my teammates, it has made me want to develop further as a coach.
What does it mean to you to be a female in sport:
Hannah: I am very proud to be a female in sport. As a girl growing up in east London I played in the local park with the boys. I loved it and got stuck in as good as they did. However I was never encouraged to take this up anything more than recreationally and I didn’t even know if there were any girls teams in my local area, it just wasn't the done thing for girls. As a 36 year old I am beyond happy that I can play for fun and wear a shirt with my own name and number on the back for my own team.
Charlotte: I feel extremely passionately about women's sport- and about it being on the same level as men's sport in terms of respect, profile and resource given to it. Like a lot of women my age, I was the only girl running round with the boys playing footie in the playground. There weren't very many girls teams around and hardly any prominent female footballers regularly in the main stream press. I am so heartened to see the rise of the women's game (and women's sport more generally) in the last 10-15 years. But there is still a long way to go; stereotypes that need smashing and attitudes that need challenging. I think it would be fantastic to get to a point where we don't even need to talk about women's sport and men's sport- where we can just talk about sport, because any notion of disparity between the two is a distant memory.
What are you looking forward to in the World Cup & how well do you think the England team will do:
Hannah: I love the women's world cup and get way more excited about that than I do the mens! I'm looking forward to seeing top performances from our players and exciting games all around. I think England are in with a good shout at winning if we play our players in their best positions, it’s a shame to have key players like Jordan Nobbs injured but I think the squad is still strong
Charlotte: I have serious world cup fever! I think England have a great opportunity to do very well in the competition and am hoping they bring the trophy home. It will be a tough test but I love tournament football and how unpredictable it can be. Most of all though, I hope that the World Cup shows what a wonderful game women's football is. I hope it helps to continue to raise the profile of the sport in a positive way, to broaden the fanbase and to inspire the next generation of girls to get playing .