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    Arsenal Arsenal Document Transcript

    • A MAN’S GAME? If you asked people to name a ‘male sport’, there’s a good chance they’d say ‘football’. ‘After all,’ they’d argue, ‘it’s played and watched by millions of boys and men across the world, the famous players are men, the match officials are men, the commentators are all men. In short, football’s a man’s game. Women just aren’t interested – everybody knows that!’ But is that really true? How many women actually play football, or go to matches? Let’s find out. Some surprising statistics Well, it turns out that football is much more popular with women than you might think. Nearly 1.4 million women and girls play football in England. Worldwide, the figure is 26 million. Another popular stereotype is that women prefer playing sports like netball. This turns out not to be true, either. More women and girls play football in England than play any other sport. They watch football, too. As many as one in six season ticket holders of football clubs in England are women. Arsenal Ladies Football Club Perhaps the greatest role models for women’s football at the moment are Arsenal Ladies from London. They’re affiliated with the famous Premier League club of the same name, and they’ve come to dominate the FA Women’s Premier League. They have a record any Premier League men’s team would envy. They’ve won 11 out of the 16 League titles, including each of the last six years. They were also the first team from outside Germany and Scandinavia to win the UEFA Women’s Cup. Women who have played for Arsenal Ladies include:  an athletics record-holder  a player who appeared in the film Bend It Like Beckham  a sports massage therapist  a player whose middle name is Abba (Rachel Abba Yankey was named after the Swedish pop group)  a singer in the pop group All Saints. Although it was an amateur team when it was founded in 1987, the players turned semi- professional in 2002. Many of them have played at international level for England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland. The future So, what next? Despite the impressive number and achievements of female footballers, most girls do not play and have not played football. The Football Association (FA) is working hard to change this. It estimates that more than 300,000 girls play informal ‘kick-around’ football, and many of these would love the chance to play in a team. And clubs like Arsenal are playing their part, too. In partnership with a local university, the Arsenal Ladies Academy is providing football training and academic study to young female players. In a global movement, from Uganda to China, girls and women are getting more into football than ever before. The question is: how long will it be now be before the first men’s Premier League club appoints a woman player or manager? © British Council 2009
    • Activity 1 What do you think? Are there any sports in your country that are mainly played by men? Can women play these sports too? Activity 2 Look at the underlined words in these sentences from the text. 1. They’re affiliated with the famous Premier League club of the same name. 2. Although it was an amateur team when it was founded. 3. Clubs like Arsenal are doing their bit too. 4. Girls and women are getting more into football than ever before. Which ones mean: a. starting to like ______________ b. connected to ______________ c. not professional – they don’t get paid ______________ d. helping ______________ Activity 3 Find out more Use the internet to find out more about Arsenal Ladies football team. Is there a women’s football league in your country? Find out more about it. Search terms (search in English) Arsenal Ladies women’s football in [my country] © British Council 2009