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Partner League Hosts Her Game Too For Women’s Cup Final

With beach huts for hospitality boxes and grassy banks forming a bowl-like shape around the pitch, The Dripping Pan’s character as a football ground is as unique as its name.

But Lewes Football Club don’t want what they are trying to achieve in promoting gender equality in football to be as unique as their 138-year old stadium - they want other clubs to follow suit.

The fan-owned club broke new ground six years ago by becoming the first professional or semi-professional football club in the world to pay its male and female players the same.

As well as having equal playing budgets, both first teams play their games in the same ground and share training facilities, while the East Sussex club actively encourages other clubs to do the same by sharing its strategy and accountability reports online.

Lewes FC Women, who play in the Women’s Championship, recently made headlines by writing an open letter calling for equal prize money in the FA Cup, days before they hosted Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the competition.

These factors made The Dripping Pan a fitting venue for the recent Reposs Isthmian Women’s Cup Final - a match Her Game Too ambassadors were invited to attend after the Isthmian League partnered with Her Game Too earlier this season.

Representatives for Her Game Too met the two teams, Charlton Athletic Women’ Under-21s and Billericay Town Ladies, on the pitch be

fore kick off and were introduced to the crowd to raise awareness of the campaign against sexism in sport.

After Charlton won on penalties following a dramatic 2-2 draw, Lewes Chair Stuart Fuller said: “We were thrilled to be asked by the Isthmian League to host the final.

“The tournament is another opportunity to showcase the rapid development of the women’s game and we couldn’t have asked for a better quality match that had drama right up until the last kick of the game.

“Our approach at Lewes has been on creating a welcoming environment for all fans, recognising that different approaches are required for both the men’s and women’s game.

“Whilst the demographics of support for the men’s and women’s game are slightly different, everyone is a fan of the beautiful game.

Sarah Aitchison (left) Sutton United ambassador and Faye Hackwell, HGT blog writer, at the Reposs Isthmian Women's Cup final

“To have Her Game Too actively involved in supporting the growth of the women’s game from grassroots upwards is vital for the development of the game.”

The Isthmian League, which covers Greater London and the East and South East of England, became a Her Game Too partner league in October last year, in a move to encourage its clubs to promote and champion female participation in all elements of the game and emphasise its collective stance that sexism and discrimination have no place in football.

Nick Robinson, Chair of the Isthmian League, described The Dripping Pan as a “brilliant” venue for a match that celebrated and showcased women’s football at its dramatic and entertaining best.

“With Lewes being a championship side in women’s tier two, the pitch is excellent and it’s good for the girls to play in a stadium like this.

“We are very pleased to support women’s football and particularly to have the partnership with Her Game Too - the Isthmian League is committed to developing the women’s game and we hope to do so more next season.

“Having Her Game Too encouraging women to enjoy and participate in football is one of the reasons we wanted to partner with Her Game Too and we are very supportive of that.”

Charlton Athletic Women's Under -21s celebrating with the trophy


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