Chelsea FC's education department celebrated International Women's day this week, with a one-day programme of events at Stamford Bridge, aimed at young ladies attending local girls' schools.
Over 200 pupils from Sacred Heart High, Sion Manning and Gumley House Schools were invited to take part in this inspirational day. Chelsea FC Ladies player, Lorrie Fair, gave an educational multi-media presentation about the history of women's football and the importance of taking part in sport. A highlight of the day for many of the young ladies was having the opportunity to handle Lorrie's Olympic gold medal, won with the USA team.
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women and in some countries, including China and Russia, it is a national holiday. This special event gave pupils from local girls' schools the opportunity to learn more about women's roles and participation in football.
The highest attendance at a ladies football game was on Boxing Day in 1920 when 67,000 turned out a match at Goodison Park (police had to turn away an angry crowd of 14,000), whereas the biggest crowd that year for a men's match was 37,545 at Stamford Bridge.
Lorrie Fair has already met over 1000 pupils in local primary and secondary schools with Chelsea's education team this season, helping teachers to meet their Healthy Schools and Every Child Matters agendas.
Education officer, Wendy Buddin, has researched and developed an informative history presentation about women in football, which provides interesting material for discussion and class debate. Lorrie's talk has also helped to inspire many young people to take part in sport and to lead a healthy lifestyle.
'Her enthusiasm and passion for sport is contagious!' said Ms Parboo of St Augustine's School, whilst Mr Gauchi, Dept. Head of Servite School said, 'Lorrie's visit was fantastic, the children were so interested and engaged by her entertaining delivery. The children learned about the hurdles one has to overcome to succeed in any sport and in life.'