Katie Chapman joined 65 young women at a specially arranged Chelsea Foundation event this week to celebrate International Day of the Girl (October 11).
The themes for the day were achieving your dreams, being brave and speaking up about passions and concerns with the former Chelsea Women captain spending time discussing how those elements had impacted on her career and what she did to overcome challenges.
The day was split in to two parts with girls aged 8-11 attending the earlier session and the afternoon dedicated to teenagers.
All the younger participants were from local schools, while the second part included girls from the USA, with participants from the Oakland Natives Give Back organisation joining those from local secondary schools.
Chapman said: ‘I think it’s important to celebrate International Day of the Girl because it makes a positive statement that we’re celebrating girls and young women. I think it’s important that we keep pushing for equality.
‘My dream as a girl was football and the young girls should make sure they follow their dreams and don’t let anyone stop them along the way.’
Joining the Foundation on the day were representatives for our global charity partner Plan International.
Among Plan’s core aims is women’s and girls’ rights, with UK girls’ rights strategy and development manager Nikki Giant, delivering one of the workshops on the day.
She said: ‘As the club’s charity partner it is really important for us to be supporting Chelsea’s work with girls and young women and aligning our work for International Day of the Girl, celebrating the importance of girls having a voice and participating in activities to help them realise their rights.
‘It is really important that girls realise they have rights, they have equal opportunities and they can dream big and build positive aspirations for the future.
‘There are lots of problems facing girls in the UK, so spaces like this and workshops like this are really important to help girls achieve their goals.
‘It is really important to have role models like Katie at events like this so the girls can meet someone relatable and someone they can aspire to be and understand there is no barrier to achieving any goal you want in life.’