With the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 tournament well underway, adidas has introduced its "Pitch, Please" initiative that enables Non-Binary, womxn and girl players to enjoy and gain fair access to football pitches in the United Kingdom.
When it comes to football, women, girls and those who identify as Non-Binary are often at an unfair disadvantage, as pitch access is often dedicated to legacy bookings and those who already have teams. New players and teams, particularly if it's a womxns-only team, therefore have restricted access, making the game (that has seen diversity improvements in recent years) become less inclusive than desired.
As adidas notes, "Research has found that 59% of teenage girls who used to be interested in sport drop out due to inadequate opportunities and facilities. Alongside this, recent findings suggest that female players in male-dominated sports experience unequal treatment when it comes to facilities and access, whilst in some sport clubs or organizations girls have had to share dressing rooms with boys."
It's with this that adidas introduces "Pitch, Please." Regular access for women, girls and Non-Binary players has been allocated across London, giving people of all skills the chance to play five, seven, and nine-a-side games in the city. Kathryn Swarbrick, General Manager and SVP, adidas Northern Europe said, "Throughout UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, thousands of women, girls, and non-binary people will be watching their heroes and will be inspired to play, but the significant lack of pitch access is a huge barrier in making this a reality. This is a real challenge, and one we must collectively combat to make sure a generational opportunity to welcome women, girls, and non-binary people into the sport is not lost. We're so proud to be providing a dedicated space for our communities to play, so they can concentrate on what they enjoy doing most -- playing football."
Toni Duggan, the Everton and England player, added, "Growing up, having a safe and accessible space to play football was so important, and without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s so great to see adidas highlighting this issue and providing a dedicated pitch for women, girls, and non-binary players to play. I understand first-hand the value this can have, and I know it will really benefit the community."
In addition to the UEFA-season pitch access, adidas and VERSUS have teamed up to offer 150 hours of Powerleague pitch access, commencing this August.
adidas' pitches will run for the month of July on Saturdays and Sundays at Haggerston School in East London. To access, text "Pitch Please" to +447874 089145 or inquire online.
In other news, Novak Djokovic has defeated Nick Kyrgios.