Using football as a medium to appeal to the masses is a very clever thing to do.
WWF teamed up with Brazilian agency Grey 141 to raise awareness of deforestation in Brazil. Every four minutes the equivalent of a football field is clear cut, so what better medium to use than a football field to show the damage? And then of course hijack four minutes of a game to show the real rate of clear cutting.
It’s a brilliant stunt – and apparently led to an increase of 73% traffic to WWF’s website.
PS – Another brilliant Brazilian Football thing is the team that lost their red stripes until enough blood was donated to their local blood bank.
Last night Gareth Southgate came to Hackney Laces present the Barclays Community Sports Award to us (no big deal). It wasn’t your standard celebrity outing,where they turn up, take a few photos and sign a few shirts and take off. He was so genuine, giving over an hour and a half of his time and answering a million plus one questions very candidly – even ones about that unfortunate penalty miss in the 1996 European Championship, which I’m sure he gets asked on a daily basis (sorry Gareth).
It’s incredibly frustrating when you tell people you play football and they respond with ‘why?’ or a series of other questions. Women playing football feels like a foreign concept to many – it must be, given the things I get asked quite regularly as of late.
These questions range from, “but your boyfriend plays, right?” to, “are you American?”. I also get asked “do you play with the offside rule?” and “are your matches 90 minutes?”. I also hear “but you don’t look like a footballer” often. These questions and statements seem to facilitate a guided discovery process to ignorant people that need to prescribe a reason as to why a woman plays or has an interest in football.
The way football clubs are funded is broken. From the Premier League all the way down to grassroots clubs. Broken. And financially unsustainable. It’s not aspirational to have multi- millionaire’s pumping money into clubs, making players salaries extortionate amounts. What example does it set to young footballers? Be talented. Make £250,000 per week.
Grassroots clubs on the other hand rely heavily on grant funds, cash from local authorities, subs from players and fundraisers. I’ve lost count of the number of football fundraisers I’ve both attended and organised. Of course these type of events are fun, lovely and a great way to support teams, but hitting up friends and family for money and all the effort that goes into bake sales, pub quizzes and tournaments is massive and completely reliant on passionate people to organise . There has to be a better way.
This week at Laces we decided it was time to come up with some club rules. These are rules to go by when at training and just generally as part of the team. I asked every player to write down a rule or two that they thought was important. And here’s what they came up with:
(Note: training starts at 530pm)