Lewes FC players Rhian Cleverly and Katie Rood got together with pupils from Lewes Old Grammar School to celebrate the school’s latest tie-up with the club.
The Sussex independent school has unveiled a changing hut it has funded down at the club’s 3G pitches to make it quicker and easier to get changed before and after training.
Pupils Harry Wesgate, Theo Light, Ruairi Lamont, Theo Ncube and Louis Anderson didn’t let the rain and mud spoil the fun as they posed with LOGS sports teacher Murray Heywood, Rhian, who joined the club from Le Havre in the summer and New Zealand international Katie, who is on loan from Bristol City.
The Rooks hit the headlines when they became the first semi-professional or professional club in the world to pay its female team players the same amount as the men’s team and now coach girls at the Lewes school.
Female team members from the club have also given talks at LOGS assemblies on equal opportunities in football – and to inspire girls to get involved in the sport.
LOGS head of GCSE PE Catherine Hyland, who has been playing football for 26 years and has played at county level for Essex and Sussex, started working at the school just over a year ago with the remit to get more girls into the country’s national sport.
She said: “All the girls at school now play football in PE. We now have teams competing against other schools and I can see that there is real talent there. It’s about time that people realized that girls can be just as passionate and talented at this game as boys."
Lewes FC director Charlie Dobres added: “We are extremely grateful for LOGS’ support in having a shelter and changing room space right next to the 3G pitch. This can now be used by all of Lewes' community groups and clubs who play on the 3G. We applaud the school’s commitment to expanding their girls’ football coaching and we see it as a really significant move to integrate this into the curriculum as well as after school clubs."