England's Lionesses can inspire Scotland's women to footballing glory in more ways than one – Scotsman comment

Victory for England’s Lionesses in the final of the Euro 2022 competition produced a wave of celebration and joy right across the country.

Fans at Aylesbury United WFC celebrate England's victory in the Uefa Women's Euro 2022 final (Picture: Steve Parson/PA)
Fans at Aylesbury United WFC celebrate England's victory in the Uefa Women's Euro 2022 final (Picture: Steve Parson/PA)

And so it is not surprising – or, at least, it should not be – that the wave made its way into Scotland as well, with many people, young girls in particular, becoming caught up in the general sense of enthusiasm about the women’s game.

The overheated and sometimes violent rivalries of the men’s version were nowhere to be seen on Sunday, as England beat Germany 2-1 in extra time.

The crowd was a mix of women, children and men, with many families enjoying sporting competition with a friendly atmosphere. There was no need for segregation of the fans, with Germany shirts mixed among England ones.

However, while Scotland qualified for the last World Cup for the first time, it has fallen behind the development of the game in England and work must be done to attempt to catch up.

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Aileen Campbell, a former SNP MSP and head of Scottish Women’s Football (SWF), told the Scotsman there should now be a wide-ranging review of women’s participation in the most governing structures of the Scottish Football Association and other bodies, saying it was vital that authorities “harness this moment” and use England’s success to “promote and grow” the women’s game in Scotland.

At a time when Scotland needs to find better ways to promote the multi-faceted benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health, the rise of the women’s game is a zeitgeist we should latch onto with all the energy we can muster.

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