LABOUR parliamentary candidate Suzy Stride has been encouraging schoolchildren to get involved in sport.
Ms Stride joined students at Burnt Mill Academy in First Avenue, Harlow, on Monday (June 16) to take part in a PE lesson and encourage local girls to get involved in women’s football.
Tottenham Hotspur fan Ms Stride is a passionate footballer and spent the 2010 world cup coaching football in a township in South Africa.
While England’s men suffered a setback in Minas on Saturday night, England’s women continued their impressive form with a 3-0 win against Belarus in their world cup qualifier in Minsk.
Ms Stride said: “The world cup is a time when everyone gets excited about football. At a time when still girls have far less opportunity to play football than boys - it’s so important we do all we can to promote girls football.
“It’s been great to come into Burnt Mill to see the great work they are doing. It is clear there is more to be done to promote women’s football in Harlow.
“We know there is still a long way to go until girls have the same opportunities as guys. Football is a great sport for girls as it encourages teamwork and competitive spirit. If girls are watching England’s men in Brazil this week and think they could give it a go they should get involved in one of the local clubs.”
Harlow Town Football club is home to the West Ham Ladies team while Harlow has several other girls and women’s football teams such as Mark Hall Youth AFC Girls.
Student Millie Hall, 12, said: “Growing up granddad got me into sports. It’s really helpful having Suzy coming in today, it shows that it’s not just men who play football but women do too.”
Kristina O’Hara, Head of PE at Burnt Mill Academy, said: “It’s really important to promote women’s football. Women’s football is growing across the town but we need more female role models.”