The Sky’s The Limit: The Lionesses 2022 European Championship Win

By Georgina Procter

“The Lionesses have brought football home. Now it’s down to the rest of us to make sure it stays here. You think it’s all over? It’s only just begun.” Momentous closing words from legendary sports commentator, Gabby Logan, as she rounded off the European Championship final, with England’s Lionesses crowned Champions of Europe.

‘Champion’, ‘England’ and ‘Football’ are all words, when in the same sentence, hit a sore spot for much of the country. Before Sunday night’s win, England had never won a European Championship and the only piece of silverware our national team had under their belt, was the 1966 World Cup. An interesting juxtaposition with Sunday’s achievement and 1966 – both wins achieved on home soil – two teams made up of the opposite sex.

Growing up in a male-dominated, sports-obsessed household, the only way to try and include myself in the conversation around the dinner table was to listen, watch and learn about football. When discussing players, managers and everything in between, I would be talking about men to men. And, with all honesty, as a woman, talking about men’s football to a group of males, half the time, falls on deaf ears.

Young girls in 2022 sitting at the dinner table with their sports fanatic fathers and brothers, can now refer to an English football team who has won a European Championship – a team made up of a group of confident, unfazed, young women. This group of females demonstrate that not only can girls play sports, but they can play historically male-dominated sports, and can make their dreams a reality and succeed at them.

Gareth Southgate’s team captured the nation last year as we watched the England men’s team battle it out to the European final. Boys and girls were inspired around the country. But in reality, how can a young girl who dreams of being a professional footballer see this as a realistic dream, if they have seen little to no female representation?

This has now officially changed and as Gabby Logan made clear, ‘It’s only just begun’.