England Lionesses call on government to make give equal access to girls football in PE for girls and boys

The England Lionesses open letter – footballers call for equal sports access in schools

"We see this as only the beginning."

Following their UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph, the England Lionesses open letter requests that the UK government grant equal access to football in PE for both school girls and boys.

What is the England Lionesses Open Letter?

The England women’s national team recently wrote an open letter. It addresses the two remaining Conservative party leadership candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

“Dear Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. On Sunday evening, history was made. The dreams of 23 women came true. England became European champions for the first time in history,” the England Lionesses open letter reads.

“We want to create a real change in this country and we are asking you, if you were to become Prime Minister on 5 September, to help us achieve that change. We want every young girl in the nation to be able to play football at school.”

Why do the England Lionesses want equal access to football in schools?

Only 44% of secondary schools currently offer equal access to football in PE lessons, according to The Guardian.

This lack of equal access forces girls to “travel across the country” to play women’s football. It also demands that young girls create their “own teams” so that they can play.

To make football more accessible, the Lionesses propose that the “government ensure that all girls have access to a minimum 2hrs a week PE.”

“They deserve to play football at lunchtime, they deserve to play football in PE lessons, and they deserve to believe they can one day play for England. We want their dreams to also come true,” the 2022 EURO winners’ letter continues.

Who has signed the England Lionesses open letter?

The letter was first posted via Twitter on August 3. It is signed by all 23 members of the England Senior Women’s EURO Squad.

Women’s footballers including Nikita Parris, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, and also Lucy Bronze have all signed the England Lionesses open letter. 

Current England Lionesses captain, Leah Williamson, has also added her signature to the letter. Manchester City Women’s players Lauren Hemp and Alex Greenwood have also signed.

As well as asking for more equal access to football, the England Women’s senior squad want the government to, “invest in and support female PE teachers too.”

“Their [female-identifying PE teachers] role is crucial and we need to give them the resources to provide girls’ football sessions. They are key role models from which so many young girls can flourish.”

What do Rishi Sunak and Lizz Truss think about women’s football?

Previously, both Sunak and Truss have shown their support for the Lionesses. This was during the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament.

Liz Truss attended the Women’s EURO 2022 final at Wembley. The Conservative Party candidate was seen alongside Spice Girls Geri Horner and Mel C.

According to The Mirror, a spokesperson for Truss has declared, “The Lionesses Euro’s win’s record-breaking Wembley attendance will have a lasting impact on women’s football.”

“Liz wants equal access to all sports for boys and girls and supports campaigns such as the FA’s Let Girls Play Campaign,” continues the reported statement.

“She [Truss] is committed to investigating what prevents schools from delivering the recommended minimum of 2 hours PE per week. And, as part of her forthcoming spending review, her government would have the opportunity to look at how best to deliver for girls in schools across the UK.”

At the time of writing, Sunak has not yet responded to the England Lionesses open letter. 

Feature image credit: Defodi Images/Getty Images