The majority of Goal Diggers FC members are from the LGBTQIA+ community, so we will definitely be participating in Pride 2020 in a way that focuses on how far we still need to go. Personally, I have mixed feelings about Pride, because I’ve always felt like the celebration of my queerness has been overshadowed by the “pink pound” and the commercialisation of my community.
Some of the UK's best-known LGBT activists, celebrities and allies have been nominated for the 2020 British LGBT Awards, i can reveal. Janet Jackson, Sam Smith, Cara Delevingne and British Vogue editor, Edward Enninful, are among the stars nominated this year. The event, which takes place on 29 May, is the biggest LGBT awards show in Britain. The winners are voted on the public, and votes are open at the official website.
Yet when I started secondary school football was deemed to be "a boy's sport" and wasn’t encouraged, so I hung up my football boots. I missed the game so in 2017, I joined Goal Diggers FC, a grassroots team for women and non-binary people in London, whose ethos is to drive accessibility to football, over ability. The very nature of women and non-binary people playing football is a radical act, and has led to the cultivation of a widely inclusive and safe environment for people to be themselves within the sport. As a gay woman and amateur footballer, the importance of this space is paramount.
[Julie Keylock] has now been training with women’s team Goaldiggers Football Club (GDFC) for three months and notes the differences between football opportunities for women now and then, saying: “To be 19 and to be able to walk off the streets and be able to play four times a week – I would have died and gone to heaven.”
GDFC have now launched Thursday sessions – footbALL – for women of all abilities and ages.
A REVIEW has been launched looking into football pitch booking systems after grassroots teams claim they struggle to get access. The review launched by leisure company GLL is expected to finish in early 2020. It comes after a campaign by women’s team Goaldiggers Football Club who say they struggle to find prime-time pitch space for training.
Goal Diggers, one of London’s biggest grassroots football teams open to women and non-binary players, said they have to cap training at a local school to 60 players and spaces can go within minutes. Fleur Cousens, who founded the team four years ago, said she has been looking for bigger pitch space in Hackney and Islington for three years, but the search has become more desperate over the past few months.
Have you ever heard a better football pun? We think not.
Murder On Zidane’s Floor is a quarterly club night run by female and non-binary footballers which takes place The Yard Theatre – a well-known queer spot in London.
Everyone is welcome here and all proceeds from the night go to non-profit football club, Goal Diggers FC, who are committed to making football accessible, affordable and inclusive to women and non-binary people.
Photographer: Katy Castle, GDFC
Location: Clapham Common, London, UK
"All the players are on each other's shoulders putting up the net. It so neatly depicts what I wanted to portray, GDFC as a community of players who support each other. I felt bad that I wasn't helping but I needed to be an observer so I could take the photo. I don't think I need to explain it more."
The capital is seeing a rising wave of successful women’s sides, from Goal Diggers FC — a club for all women and non-binary people — to Hackney creative collective Romance FC, which recently collaborated with Nike to design its own line of jerseys.
The Festival of Football will be hosting Levelling the Playing Field, an interactive day of workshops, talks and creative sessions with Fare, Discover Football, Football v Homophobia and Clapton CFC at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in east London. The goal is to give female and non-binary fans, players and coaches practical advice to make their football experience more inclusive and community-driven. Part of a diverse timetable presented by Goal Diggers FC, all events are non-profit with proceeds going to Football Beyond Borders and LGBTQ+ Youth Homeless Charity, AKT.
Polly Simpson, treasurer of the women’s football team Goal Diggers, has the simple task of posting the sign-up list for training and matches each week. But as the club has grown from a handful of players in 2015 to more than 150 now, Simpson’s administrative responsibilities can no longer be described as mundane.
At The Book Club another 150 fans gathered for the England game. Jenna Al-Ansari, the Arts & Culture Programmer for the venue, is expecting “close to 200” fans to turn out for tonight's match against Argentina, and the Friday night crowd should ensure no shortage of raucousness.
Al-Ansari calls the partnership with Goal Diggers a “perfect fit”, and reports a growth in midweek trade as a result of the screenings, to the point where they aim to keep showing women’s games after the tournament ends.
Women's football is set to take over East London this summer - with a series of screenings, discussions, tournaments and taster sessions. The Festival of Football will celebrate women and non-binary people in the sport, from grassroots to professional levels, with the hope of raising profiles, and encouraging participation. Hannah Wright is the festival director and Fleur Cousens, is a founder of the Goal Diggers football club, they spoke to Anthony Baxter.
As the Women's World Cup kicks off, Isabelle Aron finds out how London women are forging new friendships and communities through football. Featuring Goal Diggers member Lily Grant and Katherine Yeşilırmak.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on 7 June in France, with England’s opener on 9 June against Scotland. And while it is one of the most popular sports for women, it still holds certain stereotypes. Like, well, being a sport mainly for men. Yet a record-breaking 750 million people watched the 2015 tournament in Canada, and FIFA president Gianni Infantino has set a target of 1 billion for this year.
Festival of Football at The Book Club and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Run by Goal Diggers FC, the Festival of Football is a series of events celebrating increased participation in women's football. Most events take place at The Book Club and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in Shoreditch, including panel discussions, film screenings and exhibitions.
It is set to be an incredible summer of women’s sport – and we are finally starting to see mainstream media coverage and the recognition that female athletes deserve. But getting ordinary women interested in elite female sport is another matter. There are deep-seated stigmas and stereotypes that still put so many women off from watching or engaging with sport – and changing attitudes is going to take some more inventive thinking.
On 12-13 April 2019, Milan-based team Calcetto Eleganza lit the fuse in Italy with the first ever International Women Football Experience to introduce their women’s team to the international scene. Determined to do things differently and capitalise on a major cultural moment, the increasingly influential outfit organised two days of fun, football and design during Milan Design Week supported by Nike.
Think of a footballer, and the likelihood is that you’ll think of a man. Much like pro cycling, football has been dominated by men through most of its history. It wasn’t always this way: in the early 20th Century, and through the First World War, women’s football was big, drawing huge crowds. Then, the FA banned women from playing on Football League grounds under the auspices that, ‘the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged’.
Mr. Bishop said he saw The Yard as playing an important role in supporting London’s subcultures, through nights such as Pride of Arabia, which defines itself as being for “queers from the Arab world,” or Murder on Zidane’s Floor, an event run by Goal Diggers, an East London soccer club for women and people who identify as nonbinary.
'Women Who...' is Tribe's new 8 part lifestyle series aimed to inspire women through bi-weekly interviews. Each episode is a snapshot into the lives and passions of everyday women that excel in their field. In this video Tribe takes a closer look at 'Women Who Play Football,' including GDFC coach Ciara Monahan and GDFC founder Fleur Cousens.
Catch Up with Slowe Club with Special Guests Fleur Cousens from Goal Diggers, the London based football team & Romance FC's Trisha Lewis, bringing you everything on women and non-binary people in Football, and the wider sporting world.
A football team for women are celebrating their three-year anniversary with a fundraising club night.Goal Diggers, who are sponsored by the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub in Angel, are struggling for pitch space to accommodate their 170 members. Their current training pitch at Holloway School in Hilldrop Road can only fit up to 60 people.
Put "female football fan" into a search engine and the image results are a stream of attractive young women in tight shirts and, sometimes, no shirts. Tired of sexualisation and misrepresentation, some fans have decided it's time to level the playing field.
ight the good fight if you will. More women’s teams, more events like last night, more films, more women supporting other women. Support your local ladies football team. Hackney Laces and Goaldiggers are a good place to start.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Kick It Out has spoken to four women from different grassroots clubs across the country to hear about their experiences playing the game, what football means to them and what more can be done to get more girls and women playing football.
Finally, we heard from Fleur Cousens, founder of Goal Diggers FC and player for AFC Stoke Newington.