By Tristan Davis
The Founder of WOW (Women of Watford FC) now adds her voice to #HerGameToo to further spread the message that football is for all.
Kate Lewers has spent the past two years promoting change in the football culture at Watford F.C. match days, but the urge to improve first came to her when she was much younger.
“I've been going to Watford games now for over twenty years, having first started going back in 1999. I went initially with my mum, dad and brother for his sixth birthday... and absolutely hated it!
“But mainly because there was nothing tailored to young girls at the time. Men on the pitch, male stadium announcer, predominantly male fans. I just didn't see a space for nine year old girls.”
Now, years later, Kate enjoys going to games much more, but that did not come without feeling a spark for change.
“There's a real fire in my belly around improving experiences for female fans, especially within the men's game, and inspiring the female fans of the future ensuring they never have to endure the kind of rubbish we've had to over the years!
“I'm the founder of Women of Watford FC (WOW), the female supporters group at Watford, and a lot of our goals and visions align with Her Game Too, and it felt like the right time to join forces!”
The “rubbish” Kate refers to: “Being told to "prove it" when I say I'm a football fan, explaining the offside rule over and over again. Men implying I only go to games to check out the players. Not feeling safe walking to and from grounds on my own.
“Things that male fans say we make up, but every woman will hear and relate to in some way.”
Kate’s passion has already led to great progress being made with WOW. The group has been able to hold workshops at Watford FC Academy and at schools throughout her community to educate against sexism, as well as to teach the importance of consent, allyship, and respect towards women.
Her hopes for the future are just as bright as they were from day one.
“I'm hoping to give female fans at Watford FC more of a voice, as we have been doing with WOW now for two years. We have this incredible community of female fans now thanks to WOW, and I'd like to think that by becoming an Ambassador [with Her Game Too ], and partnering with Watford in the future, will encourage younger female fans to get involved too.
“In addition, focusing on my passion for educating the young men of today (for too long it's been "protect your daughter" and not "educate your son").
She also adds: “I think there's a real opportunity within grassroots. I think the time we're in right now - with the platform HGT has, the legacy the Lionesses are looking to create - is a really exciting one, and that's where I'd love to see growth.”