Rachel Yankey’s Fairer Game places 50 female coaches onto UEFA course
Kick It Out spoke to Rachel Yankey, former Arsenal Women’s and England star, about the Fairer Game project, supported by Betfair and partnered with Women In Football.
The initiative saw 50 women undertake the UEFA B License Course and partner with football clubs around the country.
With women still underrepresented within football, there is still work to do to improve their opportunities and conditions, as well as perceptions of their role in the game. Rachel has always loved coaching and wanted to use her influence to allow other women to pursue their passion.
Rachel told Kick It Out: “For me I was staggered when I heard the figures; only 310 women have a UEFA B license compared to 10,000 men; I just thought that’s weird, that’s wrong. Surely we would have more women that are interested in football that want to coach? More than 310? I just couldn’t understand what was going on.
“I’ve done my UEFA B, I know how difficult it is once you have the qualification to then go on to work in a club and actually try to work with a team to get your hours in. I think for me I’ve always loved coaching so that’s the reason I got involved, but surely we have some fantastic female coaches out there that are missing out?”
Diversity within the game is another longstanding issue, one that Rachel was also focused on addressing through this campaign.
She said: “The campaign has been rolled out all over the UK and there’s been different people from different parts of the UK and different ethnicities on the course. It’s women from different races, different religions and different backgrounds so we’ve got a great mixture of people.”
Kick It Out champions the women’s game, covering stories of interest, matches and providing personal development events for women looking to get into the industry through the Raise Your Game series. Rachel has taken part in a Raise Your Game event herself and champions events like this to continue promoting women in football.
“I think if we stopped talking about it and not making it an issue and trying to help people, then people might think they don’t have others to talk to.
“When I was at school I thought I was the only girl that liked football, it was only when I got into a girls’ football team I saw hundreds of girls playing football and realised I wasn’t the odd one out. So there might be coaches out there and there might be people that want to work in football but just don’t know where to get started.”
To follow the Betfair Fairer Game journey visit fairergame.com