We are delighted to announce that Lewes FC has been shortlisted for The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year – Changemaker Award. The award “celebrates those who have inspired others and used their platforms to create change”.
Three of the awards, including the Changemaker Award, will go to public vote. Of course, we therefore encourage our owners and supporters to have their voices heard by voting here!
The judges recognised our internal and external work to seek to be an exemplary football club, and to reach the highest stage possible. Internally, this includes the decision to equally resource our male and female teams, becoming the first club in the world to do so. The decision was taken on the back of an AGM election that saw Lewes FC Directors elected on an equality stance. They also acknowledged our opening up of opportunities for players to be more involved in campaigning and community work, citing Bradley Pritchard’s community garden that has further connected the local town with the club.
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Externally, judges recognised the work we have done to challenge the increasing saturation of football by the gambling industry, our involvement in the gambling review and supporting Gambling With Lives, a charity supporting those who have lost loved ones to gambling related suicide. They also highlighted our work towards reducing the FA Cup gender gap in prize money with the women’s FA Cup prize pot rising almost tenfold this year, and our work to deliver talks and workshops to companies and community groups.
This work was all made possible on the back of becoming fan-owned in 2010, and we are deeply grateful to the original six Directors who took the decision to take the club into community owners, as well as the more than 2300 owners who are with us to this day. If you would like to become a Lewes FC owner, please visit: www.lewesfc.com/owners.
We would finally like to recognise and acknowledge the incredible work of our co-nominees – Olympian Alice Dearing, who became the first black female swimmer for Great Britain at an Olympic Games and is a long-time campaigner on diversity and inclusivity in the swimming world; campaign group Gymnasts for Change who are working to address and remedy sexual and physical abuse in the sport; and Sandra Murphy, the first black equestrian to compete for the RAF who campaigns on diversity in the equine industry. All are worthy winners and we are delighted to stand alongside them.
And remember, you can cast your vote via the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year website!