Representatives of supporters’ organisations, fans’ embassies, fan-owned football clubs, national associations, Uefa, and other stakeholders came together to attend Football Supporters Europe (FSE)’s inaugural event dedicated to women’s football at Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage on October 11th.
The event, titled Her.Story: Celebrating Women’s Football & Fan Culture, consisted of a series of panel sessions and discussions, and was organised as both a follow-up to EURO 2022 as well as an opportunity to further develop FSE’s policy on women’s football.
Her.Story was also the launch pad for FSE’s pledge to Women in Football’s #GetOnSide campaign to build and enhance fan culture in the women’s game.
Kicking off the event, FSE showcased its Uefa EURO 2022 Report (to be published later this month) detailing the work of the fans’ embassies present throughout the tournament during a panel session, with guests Piritta Gurung (Finland Fans’ Embassy) Gary McAllister (Northern Ireland Fans’ Embassy), Siobhan O’Brien (Uefa’s Fans Relations Specialist) and Bev Ward, (England FA) taking part.
The event then considered what might be next for women’s football, with speakers including Deborah Dilworth (Football Supporters’ Association), Giorgia Bernardini (Journalist), and Andrew Jenkin (SD Scotland) dissecting the subject before stakeholders around the room added different perspectives from across Europe.
The afternoon included a workshop session which brought together different voices and perspectives to help inform FSE’s initial policy and future actions in relation to women’s football across the continent at all levels.
Niamh O’Mahony, FSE’s Chief Operating Officer & Head of Governance, said:
“In thinking about how FSE needs to organise our future actions around women’s football, we wanted to ensure the voices of our members, partners, and wider stakeholders were heard, and that was how Her.Story came about.
“We were delighted to have so many different viewpoints with us on the day and look forward to sharing what comes next in due course.”
Karolina Szumska, AKS Zły Chair added:
“It was a pleasure to be a guest at FSE’s Her.Story event celebrating women’s football and fan culture. Gender equality is one of the main core values of our fan- owned grassroots club AKS ZŁY. It is written in our DNA from the very start.
“Throughout the event we had the opportunity to talk about our experiences with people from all over Europe. There were so many fantastic ideas about making the women’s game the next big thing and I’m just waiting to bring some of those to life soon. I look forward to the next event!”
Antje Grabenhorst, FSE Diversity Officer commented:
“The event was a real success. I was so pleased to see the open and collaborative nature of the day with voices representing a variety of interests in women’s football.
“It was also very encouraging to see new relationships beginning between the participants that attended. Many exchanged contact details to continue the discussions and keep in touch. I look forward to driving these conversations on and to further develop our policy and work in the area.”