Beth Mead: Sports Personality win a “stepping stone” for women’s football

BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Beth Mead labelled her victory as a “stepping stone” for women’s football.

Yesterday Mead became the first female footballer to win the award following her golden boot heroics at the European Championship, which saw England come home victorious. 

She finished ahead of cricket star Ben Stokes in second with curling’s Eve Muirhead completing the top three.

Mead said: “I hope I’m not the last female footballer to win it. I think it’s another stepping stone for us to put the women’s game on the map and you see three people on the podium, two are women and that’s the right direction.

“But there’s still a lot more to be done and whether that’s in football, curling, hockey, rugby, whatever it may be – we’ve got things to push.”

The Lionesses recently called for the government to give school girls more access to football in PE and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has urged local schools to offer at least two hours of it each week.

Former England star Ellen White said: “For us we want to have as much opportunity and accessibility for the game and for young girls at grassroots.

“To continue that growth is really important for us and we wrote a letter to the government for equality in PE and for girls to have that chance to have football in their session.

“We felt like our voice is really powerful and what Andy has done is incredible for Manchester and hopefully the whole of the UK can take that up and make PE accessible and have that two hours for young people.”

Those thoughts were echoed by former Olympic champion Denise Lewis, who said: “Obviously the Lionesses were trailblazers – they captured the heart of the nation.

“I’m hoping it’s going to have a ripple effect for young girls in school to know they can go all the way, there’s a pathway that’s clear for them.”

Related Articles