What a year it has been for Engalnd’s Women’s football team, better known as the Lionesses. Not only did they make it all the way to the semi-finals of the World Cup this summer after beating Scotland, Argentina and Japan in the group stage but they drew in a record number of viewers, with audience numbers peaking at an incredible 11 million for the first time in history.
Now, pivotal member of the team, England Lioness and Arsenal centre-back Leah Williamson has teamed up with Save the Children for an empowering campaign which allows sports to help struggling children.
Dubbed Coaching for Life programme, the campaign is a joint initiative recently launched by Arsenal Foundation and Save the Children. Its purpose is to use the power of football to build resilience in children who are living in extreme poverty and are struggling with issues such as child marriage, child labour and domestic violence.
Launched in Jakarta, Indonesia – where 1.2 million children aged 10-17 years are out of school and forced to work to provide for themselves and their family – Leah herself has been on the ground to see the amazing work already done by the initiative. She spent two days with the young girls signed up to the programme, getting to know them and playing football with them before returning to the UK.
‘Arsenal has always committed to supporting young people knowing the privilege which comes with their name to reach them in a variety of ways through football, education and social inclusion projects,’ reads a statement from the charity.
‘We’ve taken Arsenal’s learnings from this work and combined it with Save the Children’s centenary of expertise working with vulnerable children in over 120 countries to create an innovative coaching model to support these young people who are at risk of dropping out of school, child labour, child marriage, sexual and domestic abuse.’