Brighouse Town has become a strong force in empowering female footballers in Calderdale, by providing them with an “equal playing field” within the club.
“It’s not just girls’ football or boys’ football: it’s just football”.
With the international stage of football reaching an incredible peak of 11.7 million views at the Women’s World Cup earlier this year, it is becoming easy to highlight the improvements within the sport.
At Brighouse Town, more than 100 women and girls train and represent the grassroots club at various ages – first team, elite development, Under-18’s, Under-13’s, Under-12’s, Under-11’s, Tiny Towners, as well as sessions for more mature women wanting to get into the sport.
Considering the first female side at the club was formed just six years ago, it is certainly not a bad improvement for the grassroots side.
The Brighouse Town women’s side formed when first-team coach Rob Mitchell was watching his partners football game (previously the Kirklees), “which only had four or five players turn up to” and after the manager at the time was busy travelling, Mitchell stepped in as the team was looking likely “to fold” and agreed to help out.
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After rebranding the team and bringing them into the “Brighthouse Town family”, the side has gone from strength to strength.
“We’ve gone from playing on a park field at Leeds Road Sports Complex, on the back of the pitches near a canal, to playing at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium”.
With the club being known as “one big family”, Mitchell feels comfortable when explaining that if the women’s side needs something that they can speak to the men’s first team manager or chairman and them being “quite accommodating” when it comes to helping.
Brighouse Town is also paving the way for females in the community to volunteer at the club and provide a legacy in the game.