It’s always the single steps that break the back of a long journey and we are delighted to report today about a series of initiatives being driven towards equality within sport by Shelbourne FC.

First off and important in the context of how Women’s and men’s teams are perceived, has been the dropping of ‘Ladies’ from the team title. They will now be known and referenced across the board as Shelbourne FC, the same as the men’s team.

The senior team who got their campaign off to a flying start last weekend will have their first home game of the season this weekend at their new permanent home of Tolka Park, again bringing them into line on an equal basis with the men’s team. They had previously played their games at the AUL complex in Clonshaugh.

Shelbourne FC’s kit deal with Umbro and front-of-shirt sponsorship deal with Dublin City University includes both our Women’s and Men’s National League teams.

Shelbourne FC’s social media channels will represent and promote both senior and development women’s teams with an ambition to provide a balance of equal coverage.

Additionally, all Shelbourne FC Season Tickets are valid for Women’s national League matches just as they are for the men’s team matches and all boys and girls that play in the club Academy will be given a free season ticket.

“We have appointed Dave Bell as Manager of our Women’s National League team,” said Shelbourne FC CEO, David O’Connor.

“Dave has previously managed Ireland’s team at the Women’s U17 European Championships in 2017 and is well-respected within football circles.”

“We’re also delighted that our U17 Women’s National League side will continue to be managed by the successful management duo of Laura Heffernan and Karen O’Connell. Having won the inaugural U17 National League, Laura and Karen will be looking to repeat that success in 2019.”

Related: Leading the Way on Coaching

All taken together this is a package of measures that make a clear statement about the importance of the Women’s game to the club. It has been driven by many within the club, none more so that former Ireland international and club player Seana Cooke who is on the board and is also one of the participants in this year’s Sport for Business AIG Game Changer mentoring network.

We will be following up with Seana through the season on how these important stapes are not only being delivered by the club but also having an impact across the Shelbourne FC community.

All of the key points of parity of esteem, promotion of women in coaching roles and more are being addressed. It’s a brilliant series of initiatives to see being put into action.

Shelbourne FC will also be wearing a 20X20 campaign arm patch on their kits for the forthcoming season.

Lidl, Liberty Insurance, The Federation of Irish Sport, AIB, TG4, Along Came a Spider, PwC, and the 20X20 Campaign are among the many active members of the Sport for Business Community supporting Women in Sport.  Contact us today to see what we can do to tell your story within our influential group of members.