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  • 13 July 2015 00:00
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Women's World Cup: A Catalyst for Lasting Change?

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The success of the England Lionesses having made their way through the tournament in Canada, displaying fighting spirit to claim victory over Germany in the third place play off can not be denied.

The Lionesses captured the nation's imagination. After 31 years of consistent disappointment against Germany, Mark Sampson’s side beat them for the first time and returned home with the set of bronze medals awarded to the tournament’s third-placed side.

On the eve of England Women’s opening World Cup group match against France, The FA launched ‘We Can Play’ – a campaign to shatter lingering preconceptions about women’s and girls’ football, and boost participation.

‘We Can Play’ has subsequently gained significant momentum and thousands of girls have showcased their love for the sport, but The FA is now calling for even more girls to enjoy a kick-about.

Houghton said: "English women's football is getting bigger and bigger each year. It's a huge opportunity to inspire young girls to play and look at us as heroes. That's what drives us on as well, to give them that opportunity to play international football when they are older."

The aim of ‘We Can Play’ is to not only increase participation but also increase girls’ confidence that football is a sport for them and showcase positive role models like Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Karen Carney, Katie Chapman, Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor, or any of the Lionesses who inspired the next generation of female football stars. 

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