Wednesday, 22 May 2019

PM presents trophies at all-female football club

PM presents trophies at all-female football club

PRIME Minister Theresa May took a break from Brexit negotiations when she presented awards to footballers in Wargrave.

The Maidenhead MP attended the awards day and annual meeting of Wargrave Women and Girls’ FC on Saturday,

Mrs May, who is the club’s president, handed out 12 awards to individuals and 10 teams from under-11 to under-16 level.

These included awards in each age group as well as prizes for clubperson of the year and the top goalscorer.

Hundreds of girls from the club gathered in the recreation ground off Recreation Road for the event. Most wore their team strips for the
occasion.

Mrs May was cheered as she told the assembled players, coaches and club officials that it was “fantastic” to see so many women and girls having the opportunity to play sport.

In a pointed reference to Brexit, Mrs May said: “I’ve been listening to the comments and the idea of resilience and keeping going when things are tough, when things are against you, is very important in later life.

“You may find other members of the team want to pull in different directions. Really well done to all of you, it’s great to see so many involved in football here.” Mrs May also made a reference to Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons in February when she gave a shout-out to the club.

Answering a question from Lewisham Deptford MP Vicky Foxcroft on the disparity in prize money between men’s and women’s football teams, she told MPs “As president of the Wargrave Girls’ Football Club, I am very willing to commend all those girls and other females who play football.”

Mrs May told the crowd on Saturday that while she had mentioned the club in the Commons in the past, she would try to make a further reference to it to “show how much fantastic effort is put in here”.

She added: “You have an awful lot of fun and that’s the most important thing. Good luck for next season.”

She handed out the awards and then posed for photographs with the players and coaches after each presentation. Mrs May then received a bouquet of flowers from club chairman Bob Austen while the PM presented flowers to club secretary Lucie Matthews.

This was the first time that she had attended the club’s annual awards day since she became Prime Minister in July 2016.

She was made the club’s president in 2013 and regularly attended the prize-giving while serving as Home Secretary.

Mrs Matthews said: “We were delighted to have so many girls and their families attend on Saturday.

“Wargrave Women and Girls’ FC has grown significantly over the past few years and now has more than 370 players registered across all age groups.

“Saturday was a great showcase of how much the girls are enjoying their football and the friendships that they have made through the club.

“We are very lucky to have such a great team of coaches and volunteers who give up their time to ensure that the club goes from strength to strength — without them none of this would be possible.”

The club, which recently changed its name from Wargrave Girls, is one of the largest female-only clubs in the country with more than 300 players ranging from young children to adults.

The awards were as follows: Under-11 Lions — S Monte; Under-11 Tigers — M Simmons; Under-12 Vipers — T Ziadeh; Under-12 Pythons — C Ashby; Under-12 Cobras — E van Duijn; Under-13 Dolphins — I Reason; Under-13 Sharks — A Edwards; Under-14 Leopards — S Holdship; — Under-15 — R Hicks; Under-16 — H Brookes; Clubperson Award — A Brown; Golden Boot Award — C Oates.

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