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The article was written by Ashwin, a student from Holland House School. He was inspired to share his thoughts on whether the Lionesses’ win will create long-lasting change after having the conversation with his class last September.

If you're an individual under 18 years of age and are interested in getting involved, head over to our Young Writers page to learn more.

“It shows that girls are as good as boys!”

By Ashwin, Holland House School

part of our Young Writers Collection

Following the Lionesses’ roaring victory in the Euros in July 2022, 17,910 young people around the UK had their say on whether long-lasting change would come about as a result of the win.

For voters aged 7-11, the Yes votes dominated the debate, with 82.1% possession. Ashwin, who got in touch with us to share his thoughts, agrees that the impact was not only immediate but will also be far-reaching.

"The Lionesses won the Euros for the first time, and the news spread swiftly to the world. By watching and hearing about this victory it will inspire everyone especially the girls and the women to want to play football or other sports they enjoy."

To Ashwin, it seemed that England’s women were always destined for success, given their namesake. “When I hear the name ‘The Lionesses’, I think about the lions in the wild and how they are like these ladies. Lions are the king of the jungle; this means they rule all the animals.”

Clearly, their “fierce, courageous, and savage” approach worked, as they set seven separate Team records at the tournament. “Lionesses is a superior name for them and one I would never forget,” writes Ashwin, and he’s clearly not the only one – the history books will certainly look favourably on the squad in years to come.

A floodlit football pitch

The Euros victory not only introduced new audiences to women’s football, but also reignited the conversation about pay inequality between the men and women’s games.

In Ashwin’s class, this was of particular interest, as they “had a conversation about how much money the girls and boys get paid to play on the pitch.” Evidently, this debate is as interesting to young people as ever. “I found this very captivating,” Ashwin says, “because the girls get paid £40,000 and the boys get paid £60,000. I think this is unfair because the girls are equal to the boys. The skill of football is the same, it shows that girls are as good as boys.”

A selection of UK banknotes in a pile on a flat surface

As it happens, since the Euros the Football Association of Wales (FAW) have agreed to pay players for both the men’s and women’s teams equally, which represents exactly the progress for which Ashwin and his classmates were hoping.

Not only this, but just a few weeks ago £600 million was set aside to ensure that girls and boys in England have the same access to sport, including football. Given that Ashwin believed so passionately about the inequality between teams, hopefully he sees this as a very convincing win for women’s football.

Ashwin’s Player of the Match was also very clear, as he highlighted that “Beth Mead won Sports Personality of the Year because of The Euros. This made her famous and everyone knows about her and her life. She is admired by many.” His prediction that she “will encourage young children to be courageous and never give up” rings especially true as in December 2022 it was reported 100,000 more girls are playing football in England than in 2017.

As the adage goes, you can’t be what you can’t see, and this seems to ring true for Ashwin and his classmates. Let’s just hope they continue to use their voices to help level the playing field.

Image Credit: Unsplash+ | Unsplash | Unsplash

Thanks Ashwin and everyone at Holland House School!