On Sunday, a record 17.4million watched the Lionesses win the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. It was an incredibly tense game but so enjoyable to see football “coming home”!
It is the first time England have won a major trophy since 1966 and Sunday’s victory will forever live in our nation’s sporting history.
The women have done so much to raise the profile of womens’ football and to inspire other women and girls to participate. The Government, alongside the FA, is building on this legacy and is working to ensure equal access to football for girls in 90% of schools by 2024. The Government are also investing £230 million to build or improve 8,000 grassroot football facilities; some of which will be named after the 23 players.
At this time, ten years ago, London was hosting the Olympic and Paralympic games. The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics inspired a whole new generation of sportsmen and women, many of whom are now competing at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Held in Birmingham, this will be the biggest ever Commonwealth Games and the largest sporting event to be held in the West Midlands.
Birmingham is hosting 6,500 athletes and officials from 72 Commonwealth nations and I am delighted that the Games will have the biggest para-sport programme in its history.
The Commonwealth Games brings the Commonwealth family together to celebrate sport and human performance. Over one million tickets have been sold for events taking place across the West Midlands and it is estimated over a billion people across the world will be watching. Not only will the Games have a huge social and economic impact for the West Midlands, but they will inspire amateur sports and aspiring athletes both here in the UK and across the Commonwealth.
At the time of writing this article, the England team are doing incredibly well and are second in the medals table with 54 in total.
It is certainly turning out to be a great summer of sport and I am sure the legacy of the Lionesses and Birmingham 2022 will be felt for many years to come.