10 August 2018
Lewes players Steve Brinkhurst and Vicky Carleton proudly show off the kit brandishing Women in Football's #WhatIf logo
Lewes FC’s men’s and women’s teams will take to the field for the new 2018/19 season proudly wearing the #WhatIf motif on their shirts in support of Women in Football's ground-breaking campaign.
#WhatIf is a campaign borne out of a pro bono competition Synergy launched to support grassroots women’s sports charities.
WiF set the campaign wheels in motion in May, with businesses, celebrities and members of the public asked to identify one way they can take action to contribute to an improvement for women and girls within the football industry, however large or small.
From journalists willing to mentor aspiring writers to national newspapers offering work placements; from legal firms creating new opportunities for sports lawyers to coaches offering to share their expertise with girls teams; from parents pledging to take their children to both men's and women's matches this season to the Michael Carrick Foundation hosting a football boot amnesty; from Judy Murray offering to share her experiences at a WiF event to tennis legend Billie Jean King adding her support - the #WhatIf campaign has struck a chord world-wide.
In 2017, Lewes FC became the first (and currently only) football club to have equal playing budgets and equal facilities for its women’s and men’s teams, under the banner of EqualityFC. The club is showing its backing for #WhatIf by dedicating its home shirt to the campaign for the first two months of the season.
Rosy Matheson, Development/Marketing Manager for Lewes FC Women, commented: “There is a clear crossover between the aims of #WhatIf and our own #EqualityFC campaign for equal pay and treatment for women footballers. We hope that by showing our support, we can boost what Women In Football have already achieved still further. Women’s football is on the cusp of a huge leap forward and we will continue to do everything we can to build the women’s game.”
Women In Football said: “This is a fantastic, innovative move by Lewes FC and we are proud to be working with the club on this initiative. Lewes FC has been at the forefront of promoting and advocating equality, and have gone the extra mile in putting their words into action.
“We are delighted that both the men’s and women’s shirts will have the #WhatIf logo on their shirts, increasing the visibility of the campaign and playing their part in helping us to change the landscape of the football industry.”
Lisa Parfitt, Managing Director of Synergy, added: “When we conceptualised the #WhatIf campaign alongside Women in Football, we were challenging the world of sport to open more doors to women. In Lewes FC, we have a partner with a proven record of not just opening doors, but breaking them down. Being able to bring these two equality powerhouses together under the banner of #WhatIf provides football with a strike force no deadline day could bring together.
“Lewes FC’s success was a joy to behold last season and this temporary partnership is a clear indication of their intention to pick up where they left off – topping tables with both on the pitch and off the pitch performance, a sponsor’s dream package.”
Lewes FC’s men’s team kick off their season on Saturday 11th August at home to Carshalton and the following Sunday 19th, Lewes FC’s women host Charlton Athletic Women in the Continental Cup.
If you would like to make a pledge, either individually or as an organisation, or would simply like more details on how to do this, please contact Leanne Dingle via firstname.lastname@example.org
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