Changing the Narrative around Women and Football #FCGlasgow2018

Chris Macmillan, 4th Year UWS Sports Journalism.

THE Football Collective 2018 conference is underway at Scotland’s national stadium and promises two days of academic insight into every form of football.

The theme for the conference at Hampden Park is that of ‘challenging the narrative’, and in line with such a theme, the conference was opened with an opening presentation from keynote speaker Solvejg Wolfers, a PhD candidate currently exploring the positioning of female researchers in the footballing world, followed by an all-female panel, consisting of Dr. Stacey Pope, Premier League Education Manager Lucy Ward and Slavia Praha player Kylla Sjoman, critically discussing the state of female football in England.

Leading the keynote panel was ex-professional footballer Alex Culvin, who represented Leeds United and Everton amongst others during her playing career. Culvin’s research focuses on football as work for women, with the context being the ‘employment concerns of elite women footballers in England.’

Culvin, who is also studying for her doctorate, said:

“We were looking at the current and being critical of the current state of women’s football in England and we talked a little bit about the media and its impacts on players – both positive and negative, the challenges that professional women’s football face in the media.”

She believes that the challenges faced by professional female footballers is something which should have more devoted research and that work still needs to be done for the women’s game to increase as a spectacle.

The former AZ Alkmaar defender continued: “There seems to be a growing crisis in mental health and a lot of research done on mental health and men’s football that attention doesn’t extend to professional women’s footballers.

“That sort of stems from my research, I asked the players, and today the panel, about what are the priorities of the clubs and the FA; and then finally we touched on the current state of the game, which means what can we do to improve the game as a commercial product, how can we get more investment, how to improve women’s football as an entertainment spectacle.”

The two-day conference will be showcasing papers and presentations that, as Culvin explains, will challenge myths and misconceptions, commonly held attitudes and positions.

This post is part of a series of articles from the University of West of Scotland Sports Journalism students who are covering the Football Collective’s “Changing the Narrative” conference in Glasgow, at Hampden, Scotland’s National Stadium. 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s