The Lionesses' Legacy at TeamUCL
Women's football took centre stage throughout July and it's here to stay!
The UEFA Women's European Football Championships came to the UK between 18 July and 31 July, eventually culminating in England claiming victory on home soil in front of 87,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. The tournament defied many views and set record after record, including the final playing host to the biggest crowd ever see at a European Championships.
The tournament has played a huge role in shining a spotlight on women's football and this only the beginning. The tournament should be a catalyst for the growth of women's football, including increased investment and opportunity throughout all levels of women's and girl's football.
We caught up with a number of members from both TeamUCL Women's Football Clubs to find out there views on the tournament's success and how women can access football at UCL.
What was the standout moment of the tournament?
I have really enjoyed watching the Euros this summer, especially watching England win!!! For me, the best goal of the tournament has to be Alessia Russo's backheel against Sweden, the audacity and skill to pull that off in a semi-final is unbelievable and watching England play with so much flair had me truly believing that it's coming home. Another highlight was Stanway's goal against Spain, the tension leading up to the final goal was unbearable, but the relief and happiness after a 96th minute winner is unmatched.
(Safia Safdar, RUMSWFC 2nd Team Captain)
Our members agree that it was genuinely one of the best sports tournaments we have ever watched, not only because of the quality of the playing, but also the well-deserved attention that the event garnered. The biggest standout moment was seeing how people of all ages were present, sharing a genuine passion and excitement for women’s football.Léa Heinzer, UCLWFC President
What was the atmosphere like at the games your members attended?
A few of us current and former RUMS WFC members were at Wembley for the final and it really was an exceptional day. The support for the Lionesses was immense and the vibes within the stadium were super inclusive and welcoming. That topped with the amazing win by the Lionesses made for such a great experience. If you haven't yet been to a women's football match, I really recommend it!
(Zuva Dengu, RUMSWFC co-president)
A group of us watched the semi finals in trafalgar square to see the England win 4-0 against Sweden which was honestly amazing. The energy in the square was super wholesome and supportive. One of the loveliest moments was meeting a former PE teacher who was the first in her school to teach the girls football. Meeting her really was a reflection of how far women's football has come over the last few decadesZuva Dengu, RUMSWFC co-president
This Euros has highlighted the immense progression of Women’s football. What did it mean to you to see the competition run so successfully?
It means so much that the Euros were so successful. The competition has seen a massive increase in those watching women’s football and I think this is such an important step for the progression of the sport. I am delighted to see the respect that the Lionesses have earned. I hope that by opening the gates to more support within the community, in addition to inspiring more young girls to play themselves will make such a difference.
This Euros has shone an immense spotlight on Women’s football and I truly hope to see the engagement with our sport continue to grow as a result of this international event. Witnessing the tremendous support for the players and teams at the international level has been extraordinary. We hope that this event is a catalyst to increase the interest of fans in further competitions including the Women’s Super League (WSL). Not only will an increase in exposure and support boost women’s club morale, it will subsequently also invite greater levels of investment across the board.Léa Heinzer, UCLWFC President
What legacy would you like this Euros to have on girls and women’s football?
The most impactful step would be to see the action letter from the Lionesses asking the government to fund access to football for girls in school, come to pass. I’m sure any member of RUMS WFC or UCL WFC could tell you how difficult it was in finding anywhere to play growing up.
Even at the local and university team level, more coaching staff and pitch availability would really see an elevation of the game overall. One a professional level, the greatest barrier that needs to be overcome is the lack of accessibility to view matches, which is important in inspiring new generations of football players and Lionesses!
UCL Football Club (Women's)
With 4 teams and over 100 members, the UCL Women’s Football Club (UCLWFC) is one of the largest women’s football university clubs in the UK. Additionally, the club is a highly international community, with members from incredibly diverse backgrounds. Members are united by their passion for women’s football as well as their desire to see it continue to grow. The club facilitates unity at UCL by enabling a highly inclusive environment in which players of all nationalities, skill levels and gender identities are welcome.
Football Club (RUMS Women's)
RUMS WFC offers an inclusive and tight-knit community for football players of any level - no matter if you've never kicked a ball or whether you've been playing your whole life and want to play competitively! The club doesn't hold try-outs and welcome anyone to participate. Welcome sessions run on Wednesdays during the Welcome Period and we would be really excited to meet any new potential members. RUMS WFC is as much a social club as it is a sports club! As well as weekly gatherings for sports night, the club hold various socials throughout the year. Head to instagram @rumswfc to find more information about the club and any upcoming events.