The Labour candidate bidding to become Huddersfield’s first woman MP is calling on the Government to do more to encourage equality for girls in sport.
In the wake of the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory over Germany at Wembley, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Harpreet Uppal wants more girls to be able to play football at school.
According to the FA only 63% of schools in England offer football equally to girls and boys in their PE lessons and they are campaigning to make access equal by 2024.
Ms Uppal said: “I was delighted and proud to see the Lionesses crowned the winners of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 in front of a record-breaking crowd.
“As a young girl, I don’t think I could have ever imagined such scenes. The great thing today is young girls don’t have to imagine it and we must now make sure the structures are in place to seize on this watershed moment.”
Ms Uppal backed an open letter sent by the Lionesses squad to the Tory leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.
In the letter they said: “We have made incredible strides in the women’s game but this generation of schoolgirls deserve more.
“They deserve to play football at lunchtime, they deserve to play football in PE lessons and they deserve to believe they can one day play for England. We want their dreams to also come true.
“This is an opportunity to make a huge difference. A change that will impact millions of young girls’ lives. We – the 23 members of the England Senior Women’s EURO squad – ask you to make it a priority to invest into girls’ football in schools, so that every girl has the choice.”
READ MORE: Who is Harpreet Uppal, where’s she from and what does she believe in? Find out HERE
Ms Uppal, who was selected by Huddersfield Labour members to replace Barry Sheerman when he steps down at the next General Election, said she was “delighted” to see the letter from the Lionesses.
She added: “I fully back their campaign to ensure that girls have access to a minimum of two hours a week of PE and that we invest in and support women PE teachers.
“The Lionesses are a true inspiration and we must now fight for the next generation of players and fans and push for equal access to all sports for women and girls.”