VERSUS and adidas Football have announced a new collaboration to capitalise on the impact of the historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament by providing access and safe spaces for more women and non-binary players to play football.
Despite the huge success of the EUROs, access to playing space remains one of the biggest challenges for women and non-binary players across the UK. Research shows that 59 per cent* of girls who played sport as teenagers drop out of the game due to inadequate opportunities and facilities, while block bookings make pitch hire for new teams more and more difficult in the growing women’s game.
Now, VERSUS—the media platform championing the future of football—is tackling the problem head on with ‘Pitch, Please!’ – a new partnership with adidas and Powerleague that makes 150 hours of pitch space at Powerleague facilities across the country free to access for the month of August.
32 Powerleague clubs – from Bury to Bolton, and Nine Elms to Nottingham – are participating, giving women and non-binary players all over the country the opportunity to play football at a safe and high-quality facility this summer.
We’re creating 150 hours of free pitch space for women, girls and non-binary players all through August with @adidasUK and @powerleagueUK.
The next generation of ballers need a place to play. We’re here to make it happen.
BOOK A FREE PITCH: https://t.co/COczF62LPI pic.twitter.com/NV7k454X8e
— VERSUS (@vsrsus) August 1, 2022
To activate the campaign, VERSUS custom built a booking platform where players can find their closest pitch and book an available time slot. The project will also come to life throughout August via exclusive content on VERSUS channels – created with the adidas Football Collective – explaining why access to football for marginalised communities is so important.
Commenting on the campaign, Amie Cripps, Women’s Football Editor at VERSUS, said:
“Football is a game for everyone, regardless of gender, and Pitch, Please! recognises that. After such an inspiring summer of football, millions of people around the country are going to want to play. Whether you’re six or sixty, this project will provide anyone and everyone with the opportunity to fall in love with playing football.
“500,000 people bought tickets to last month’s UEFA Women’s European Championships, and we need to harness that interest to propel the game forward. For far too long, old structures have typically kept marginalised communities from accessing football. That ends now.
“We hope this campaign helps to rectify misconceptions surrounding gender and reminds people that inclusivity is one of the cornerstones of sport. It’s called the ‘beautiful game’ for a reason, and this is an opportunity to truly embody that.”
To book a pitch for free and to find out more, visit pitch-please.com.
Read more from our insight series here.