Daily Mail

Lionesses inspire boost for girls’ sport


ENGLAND’S Lionesses have secured another historic victory, with the Government pledging to offer girls equal access to school sport following an open letter from the Euros-winning squad. the 23 players wrote to then prime ministeria­l candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz truss the day after the Wembley final last July, urging them to build on the legacy created by their victory. And the Government will make it clear to schools that they are expected to deliver a minimum of two hours of PE per week and ensure that girls have equal access to all school sport, including football. the groundbrea­king pledge is backed by a multi-million-pound investment in school sport and after-school activities. England captain Leah Williamson said the Government commitment will be ‘transforma­tional’.

‘the success of the summer has inspired so many young girls to pursue their passion for football,’ said Williamson. ‘We see it as our responsibi­lity to open doors for them to do so and this announceme­nt makes that possible. this is the legacy that we want to live on much longer than us as a team.’

Currently only 41 per cent of secondary schools offer football equally to girls in PE lessons, while just 46 per cent of schools provide as many extracurri­cular opportunit­ies for girls as boys. the new package includes more than £600million across the next two years for the PE and sport premium — a funding commitment to improve the quality of PE and sports in primary school — while £57m will be spent on opening up more sports facilities outside of school hours, with a focus on girls and disadvanta­ged pupils.

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