You have probably seen across our social media channels over the last few days that yesterday we went to Wembley Stadium to watch the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final Arsenal vs Chelsea. It was awesome!
I had been worried as so many people advised me to go by train but at over £230 for tickets for the 6 of us, there was no way I was going to spend that! Instead we pre-booked the on-site car park for £20 and took our chances. We set off early as we weren’t sure what the traffic would be like getting there. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as we expected and we managed to find the car park without any problems.
We followed the crowds to the stadium and were pleased to see a high level of security to keep everyone safe. It was a good atmosphere with loads of kids groups (scouts, junior football teams, schools, etc) and families as well. Lots of people had their team flags to wave or faces painted. Cody had his Chelsea kit on (guess who we were supporting?!).
Once we’d been through security – who were all very friendly and lovely – we wandered round the stadium eateries and merchandise stalls. We were given free flags for the match. Sadly they only had Arsenal ones left but the kids didn’t mind. I expected it to be hugely busy but was surprised that despite all the people there it didn’t feel over crowded which was nice.
After getting hot dogs and drinks we found our seats in the stadium. It was great to watch the women’s football teams warming up and the preparations for the match. None of us had been to Wembley before. It’s an impressive stadium! The national anthem was sang and then the game began. It was so exciting!
Despite not being hugely into football we really enjoyed the game and couldn’t believe how fast the 90 minutes went. Seeing a match live is definitely the best way to really enjoy it. We loved doing the Mexican wave and watching it roll around the stadium. The excitement every time the ball went towards the goal was thrilling! We were chuffed to bits that all of Chelsea’s 3 goals were scored at our end of the pitch. We had a brilliant view of them and the celebrations when the final whistle blew with a score of 3-1 to Chelsea!
So if we’re not really into football, why did we go all the way to see a match at Wembley?! Well here’s the thing. I used to play for a local women’s football team. And as much as I don’t play it now, I do think it’s vitally important that we encourage girls to play if that’s what they want to do. I faced a lot of criticism growing up for being a ‘tom boy’. I was frowned upon for wearing a football shirt. I was told over and over that girl’s don’t play football. Well guess what? Yes they do! And they play it very well! I don’t want my girls to ever feel like they can’t do something because it’s just for boys. Equally I don’t want my son to think he is better at something simply because he’s a boy. To anyone whose girls play football – don’t ever be ashamed of them.
Women’s football is on the rise. The attendance at yesterday’s cup final was a record breaking 45,423 people. This is such brilliant news for the sport and I really hope it continues. We will certainly be heading back again next year and hope to see some of you there too!