·3 October 2022
·3 October 2022
The Lionesses have made it their mission to use their platform as Euro 2022 champions to push for a big change.
While there is a fight ahead of them, they are committed to continuing their work in changing the landscape of women’s football.
Following their Euro 2022 fairytale, the team penned an open letter to Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to demand the addition of football to the PE curriculum for girls in schools.
The Lionesses are hoping to see the government introduce a minimum of two hours of football per week.
“It’s something we felt we were in a great position to demand, especially with the effect we had in the Euros in general,” Mead said.
“It’s [football] come a long, long way and now we’re demanding — and we have the right to, just because we want the game to become better and better for the next generation.
“Throughout the Euros, we as a team spoke about our legacy and goal to inspire a nation. Many will think that this has already been achieved, but we see this as only the beginning.”
Mead is currently in the form of her life after backing up her 11 Women’s Super League goals last season with an unforgettable Euro 2022 campaign. The forward played a huge role in England’s historic win — notching six goals and five assists to win the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards.
The 27-year-old has carried her fiery performances into the new domestic season with Arsenal, having already bagged three goals and two assists in just two matches.
Mead is undoubtedly one of, if not the biggest name in English women’s football right now. But despite her and the Lionesses’ ascension into the spotlight, she knows how far they have come and why it’s so important to keep providing opportunities for the next generation.
“For so long we’ve accepted things, and gone, ‘Ah this is nice’, where now we’re pushing,” she said. “Not to be divas. We want the best for the game, we want more and more.”
The day before England’s open letter, an update from the Department for Education revealed it would not be guaranteeing schoolgirls equal access to football.
Instead, it has been suggested that “comparable activities” be offered instead.
Mead has stressed the government has “a tough job ahead to keep us away” from pushing to see girls play more football in UK schools.
“We ask you and your government to ensure that all girls have access to a minimum of two hours a week PE,” she said, addressing the government. “Not only should we be offering football to all girls, we also need to invest in and support female PE teachers too. Their role is crucial and we need to give them the resources to provide girls’ football sessions.
“We had a little bit of an update that they were looking into things and hopefully trying to move it forward. We haven’t had a definitive answer yet on things.”
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