Westminster’s Diocesan Chaplain for Sport has urged celebrities to back a campaign to get more women and girls into football.
Uefa’s Together #WePlayStrong initiative aims to transform the image of football by inspiring more girls to get involved in the sport.
The European football governing body said it will attempt to make the sport more culturally relevant and aspirational for girls in their teenage years, which is where there is traditionally a large drop in numbers of those taking to the pitch.
Following pop star Rita Ora’s recent support for the campaign, Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, who is also CEO of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, urged other celebrities to follow her lead.
“I hope Rita Ora will be the first of many ‘star role models’ to encourage young girls not only to take up football but stay with it as they pass through their teens,” he told The Universe.
The chaplain explained that with the encouragement of celebrities, “teenage girls may realise that sweat on a pitch can be cool”.
“Currently, so many keen-sporty, primary school girls fear, as they enter their teens, that more than glowing as they train and play can make them less attractive, lowering their self-confidence,” he said, adding that celebrities such as Ora can change such mind-sets and “help young women move holistically into the 21st century”.
Today’s men’s football fixtures in England, Scotland & Ireland:
FA Cup Final
Chelsea v Manchester United – 5.15pm
Scottish Cup Final
Celtic v Motherwell – 3.00pm
Irish Premier Division
Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers – 7.45pm
Tomorrow’s Women’s Super League fixtures:
Women’s Super League 1
Birmingham City Ladies v Reading Women – 12.30pm
Bristol City Women v Arsenal Women – 12.30pm
Liverpool Ladies v Chelsea Ladies – 12.30pm
Manchester City Women v Everton Ladies – 12.30pm
Sunderland Ladies v Yeovil Town Ladies – 12.30pm
Women’s Super League 2
Aston Villa Ladies v Sheffield Ladies – 2.00pm
Brighton & Hove Albion v Millwall Lionesses – 2.00pm
Doncaster Rovers Belles v Oxford United Women – 2.00pm
Tottenham Ladies v London Bees – 2.00pm
Watford Ladies v Durham Women – 2.00pm
Picture: Manchester City players before their FA Women’s Super League game against Arsenal at Boreham Wood on 12th May 2018. (Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport).