Women at the Game: You can take part

I’m diverting from the usual focus of this website to publicise an important new initiative established by my friend and former colleague, Jacqui Forster. It’ll only take a few minutes of your time, so please, read on…

Football clubs around the country are invited to join in with the Women at the Game initiative as International Women’s Day approaches (March 8th).

The brainchild of Jacqui Forster, the idea is to give women their first taste of live football in a supportive environment or to create a friends’ group for women to be together who are seasoned match-goers who are not comfortable in the usual male dominated crowd – going in an all-female group that’s supportive and welcoming.

Forster, an Altrincham FC fan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February 2015 – and is using some money that friends raised for her to get this project up and running.

“I simply want to enable more women to feel happy going to watch sport, particularly men’s football,” says Jacqui. “I think that meeting other women before the game in a non-threatening venue, like a café, entering the ground together and wherever possible spending the match with their new found friends and even travelling home together will make more women of all backgrounds, ethnicity and religion more likely to give Going to the Footie a go. This is really about making friends with other women who support the same club.”

The first Women at the Game event was at Forster’s home club when they played Gloucester at the start of January – and now other clubs are keen to join in to mark International Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday 8th March.

Jacqui’s story can be heard on BBC World Service’s Sportshour this Saturday from 10am – and on the iPlayer now (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04pt68y)

To find out more about Women at the Game or to sign your club up for an event, contact Jacqui at womenatthegame@gmail.com or go to the Facebook group for more: http://facebook.com/groups/1178445935584034

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