This week was their second week of going and, as they ran out to me in the playground afterwards, I noticed DS3 was clutching yet another letter from school. "It's about football", "Can I go? I am going to go", he said resolutely. "OK, let me look when we get home, and we'll decide", I said (quietly wondering how much the school were planning to fleece me for now).
To my delight I discovered that this would be a free event
Praise the Lord. The caveat to that, it was for BOYS ONLY.
As I read the letter and the words slipped out of my mouth DD2 yelled "What? Girls can do football!"
She has a point there.
In fact, she is quite good at kicking a football. Better than her twin.
So, Everton FC, what the hell are you playing at?
You have a Women's team, they are good from what I've heard, and yet, no similar events are being held for young girls to be scouted for your football academy.
In a time where we are being told that #thisgirlcan and Women's football is featuring in regular programming on the television and even has its own league tables you are sending a message to girls everywhere that they are not really welcome unless they are on the sidelines watching their brothers.
Women's football has gained popularity lately, but matches are still no where near as well attended as Men's football is. Do you know why? Perhaps it's because youngsters like my daughter and her female classmates are simply not included at your events. They are not equal. These children are only five years old. This age is where their interest in football should start, not where it should stop.
I have wrongly assumed that "fun" events like the one you have organised would be open to every child. Maybe if they were, more girls would be encouraged to try out football as a sport. Maybe they would enjoy it and maybe you would also spot some genuine talent?
Look at your own website here:
It seems that your message is clear. So why bother even having a Women's team then?
I am a mum of girl/boy twins.
They do everything together. But it seems that they can't do this.
Not because one of them is unable to play football but because one of them happens to be a girl.
I am exasperated I'll admit, but have you ever tried reasoning this argument with a five year old? I have and it isn't easy.
Football may be the beautiful game, loved by many, but it sure as anything isn't an inclusive game at Everton FC.
Needless to say if one of my children isn't welcome at your event then neither of them will be attending.
Nil satis nisi optimum - nothing but the best is good enough. Just as long as the best happens to have a penis, eh?