OMG what a tournament!!!! And whatever the result on Sunday I’m celebrating working on one of the most worthwhile and personal-to-me projects I’ve ever been part of within a clever and committed team at the National Football Museum, a city-wide team of event planners, Local Authority enablers, football legends and an FA team spanning the country.
As always with the work I enjoy the most it involves me being part of something bigger than me.
The heritage project I’m project managing for Manchester is an FA initiative funded by the National Lottery Heritage and Arts Council which is designed to celebrate new voices in the women’s game – this includes now-retired women’s football players including Lionesses – and fans – as well as young players.
I’m absolutely privileged to work on this within the National Football Museum.
So far my team have interviewed 9 ex players and about 40 fans in the Fan Zone and we’re hosting two story and memorabilia collection days at the National Football Museum this Sunday and 10 August. We’ve already hosted so many community days and events. We’ve played our part.
Football was my first sport – the one I was banned from playing at my school and working on this project has enabled me to *really* see the change that’s been made in my lifetime. Being at the opening game at Old Trafford with to my dad was awesome – but so was the ‘See it to Believe it festival’ organised by Olivia Laker at Manchester FA where 550 + girls and women were playing on fabulously-maintained pitches in Wythenshawe in South Manchester. I asked one of the under 10s how her last game went. ‘I did a Beth Mead!!!!!,’ she delighted.
I didn’t have female role models growing up.
So whilst the tournament continues, so does our work at the National Football Museum. We’re processing our interviews so they become part of October’s Crossing the Line exhibition Part 2 and so that the archives of the museum become more gender balanced in line with the museum’s 50-50 target.
I’m working my butt-off don’t get me wrong but the fact I believe my work is making a difference and I’m working with a great team makes me feel so very, very privileged.