A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sharing with you a campaign that was very close to my heart.
Doing the job I do I naturally get hundreds of emails every week but not many of them resonated from my soul like this one did and that was why it was important to get girls into football.
The campaign was by SSE, one of the UK’s leading energy companies and they had made a commitment to help support girls only football provisions with the FA SSE Girls Football Participation Programme that is now running with more than 60 clubs taking part.
My post a few weeks back highlighted my plight as a teen and at being pigeonholed into sports and it explained why all these years later I have encouraged my daughter to do anything she likes in her life and to not be restricted with what others think she ought to do.
The final film in the SSE Dad’s and Daughter campaign equally resonated within me as it shares a very special journey of 17-year-old Flo Allen and her father Rob.
Flo begun playing football when she was only six years old, since then she has developed into one of England’s top prospects to join the England Women’s Senior team. When Flo was only 16 she had to make the decision to leave home in Norfolk to move to Bristol, joining the ladies team there and chasing her dream of being a professional footballer.
I will admit that when I watched that video for the first time I did shed a tear, you can certainly feel the love from Dad and Daughter and the sacrifices Flo has made on her journey are without a doubt something to be admired.
On a personal level for me my twin sister had a very similar choice to make following her own dream of becoming a Jockey when at the tender age of 16 she left home to live miles away while she completed the training she had always dreamt of
At the time she missed home terribly and we missed her, unfortunately my biological dad was not the most supportive and visits were few and far between until I could drive but it did teach me that life is too short and that you have to follow your dream and also that sometimes a bit of support goes a very long way.
Unlike my biological Dad all those years ago Flo’s Dad has not let that distance interfere and they still remain very close and football is just one of the many reasons they are so close. Rob has always supported his daughter and is the first person Flo goes to for anything, claiming she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without him.
For too long we as girls were compartmentalised and now is the time for empowerment and support, lets find out what our young women want out of life, If football is it thanks to the SSE campaign then lets cheer them on and support that decision.
Lets stand on those sidelines come rain or shine and lets show them that the world is at their feet in whatever they choose to do.
Heres to football and the empowerment it brings.
To find out more about the work SSE are doing in women’s football visit: www.sse.co.uk/about-us/sponsorship/sport/womens-football.
*This is a collaborative post with SSE Dads and Daughters campaign*