Women’s Euro 2022 ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to inspire women and girls in Sheffield to get involved in football, say organisers
Next summer's Women’s Euro 2022 is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to inspire women and girls in Sheffield to get involved in football.
That’s the view of those in the city tasked with capitalising on the biggest-ever women’s European sporting event to create a lasting legacy – and hopefully produce the Lionesses of the future.
As the UK City of Sport, Sheffield will play its part as one of nine host cities across England, with long-term targets also set to boost female participation in the sport locally.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to inspire younger girls and girls in Sheffield to get playing football,” said Sheffield United midfielder Maddy Cusack at the launch of the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 Legacy Programme on Wednesday.
"It’s amazing that we are a host city for this Euros. I've been to England games before and there’s an excitement and buzz surrounding it. For younger girls to be able to experience that, it will spark their interest.”
Long-term aims following the 16-team tournament include doubling the number of girls aged five to 16 who play football in Sheffield, as well as doubling the number of FA-qualified referees and coaches.
"We want to capitalise as much as possible,” said Sarah Wood, football development manager at Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA.
“This is possibly for us a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire people around us.”
Sara Harnett, women’s recreational football officer at Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA, added: “We have earned the right to host so let’s put the work in to make sure the impact is there.
"It’s ambitious, but it’s doable.”
Bramall Lane will stage three group games as well as the semi-final for England’s side of the draw, meaning Sheffield could host the Lionesses.
Kate Josephs, chief executive of Sheffield City Council, promised a roaring reception.
She said: "This is a major international sporting event, Bramall Lane will be filled to the rafters with screaming fans. That’s the sort of thing women and girls need to see.
"For too long men and women’s sport has been, and still are, seen as unequal. The way to fix that is by showing they really aren’t.”
Tickets for the tournament will be available from 13 July. Prices start from £5.
You can pre-register at UEFA.com/womenseuro/ticketing.