Ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday, Stamford Bridge played host to an ‘Inspire to Empower’ event.

Taking place on Monday in the club’s Centenary Lounge, more than 150 young women aged 10 to 14-years-old took part in a range of exciting activities as part of our International Women’s Day celebrations.

Lawyer Victoria Evans opened the event to speak to participants about her career path and her upcoming rowing challenge.

Our global charity partners Plan International also delivered workshop-based sessions before former Chelsea FC Women player Claire Rafferty closed the event with a talk to the children on the challenges she had to overcome during her time as a Chelsea player.

Rafferty said: ‘Inspire to Empower is about giving someone the means to achieve something.

‘The work that Plan and the Foundation do is so important to make change happen.

‘Football for me was such a powerful tool at developing key skills and attributes.

‘Playing football gave me confidence and strength to fulfil my potential and this programme is key to teaching girls how to control their own lives and fight for their rights.’

Another female role model at the event was Evans who opened the event speaking about her aim to break the world record for the fastest female solo crossing of the Atlantic while raising money for the Women in Sport charity.

She said: ‘I’m working with the Foundation as part of the event this morning to give a talk to the girls about inspiration and empowerment and how you can use sport to achieve that.

‘Seeing how engaged the girls are, watching some of the quieter ones come out of their shell because they are doing things that are active.

‘Having things like the STEM task where they are having to do programming, they are learning some really important life skills without even realising it because they are having fun so I think it’s the perfect way of delivering that kind of message to kids of that age.’

She added: ‘I’m going to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic from east to west from Gran Canaria to Barbados.

‘I’m going to try to do it on my own and try to break the world record for fastest female solo crossing.

‘I leave February 2021 so I have another 11 months. I’ve started training, I learnt how to row about a year ago and now I’m training five or six times a week at the moment.’

‘The current record is 49 days 7 hours and 15 minutes so anything quicker than that will do!’

Chelsea FC Women players also showed their support for International Women’s Day through our global partners Plan International’s Girls Get Equal campaign.

Girls Get Equal is the global campaign demanding power, freedom and representation for girls and young women.

It is about ensuring every girl and young woman has power over her own life and can shape the world around her. A world free from discrimination, harassment and violence.

Click for more information on Girls Get Equal