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Women in Football celebrate an inspiring decade

CELEBRATION: Dame Rabbatts (fourth from left) with other WiF attendees

DAME HEATHER RABBATTS is the new ambassador for Women in Football (WiF) announced at the organisation’s recent tenth anniversary launch at the House of Lords. The highly respected Rabbatts was introduced to the audience by sports presenter Jacqui Oatley on what was an inspirational night for WiF.

WiF member Oatley also chaired a special panel Q&A featuring sports medicine specialist Dr Eva Carneiro, top international football executive Ebru Koksal and football referee Lucy Oliver.

Special guest was United Nations director for the HeForShe campaign Elizabeth Nyamayaro who flew from New York especially for the night, who spoke about the importance of empowering women too.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester, deputy leader of the House of Lords welcomed everyone to the evening celebration held at a stunning location overlooking the Thames.

Invited guests across the football industry included coaches, broadcasters, journalists to sponsors.

Jamaica-born Rabbatts said: “I am proud and honoured to be the ambassador for Women in Football and to be part of a movement that champions women’s roles throughout the football industry at all levels.

“The vast amount of talent already in the industry is awe inspiring and I am determined to help the organisation to share professional expertise, effectively challenge discrimination and celebrate women’s achievements in the months and years ahead."

Women in Football co-founder and chair, journalist Anna Kessel, said: “Ten years ago no one was talking about women in the football industry. There were well established, highly respected, antiracism and homophobia campaigns - but they didn't cater for women and women's experiences. WiF sought to change things and put women - in all our diversity - firmly on the agenda.

“A decade on and times have definitely changed. Whether it's the extensive media coverage now given to women in the industry, as well as the women's game, or the growing numbers of high profile success stories. We're proud to call so many of those supporters of WiF, from Dame Heather Rabbatts to Dr Eva Carneiro.

“We hope the next 10 years brings ever greater change - more women in senior positions, more women match officials, medics and coaches, and stronger legislation in the game to protect women who face discrimination."

Guest Kwesé sports journalist Mimi Fawaz said: “I feel like as a woman in the industry covering football, it's great to share ideas and stories of other women see how they are doing. I feel like it’s empowered me and inspired me and made me feel a lot more confident as a woman in the industry in my abilities and some of the challenges we overcome. It is always great to come across a support network that can understand what you are going through.”

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