Lionesses' Wembley encounter wins Inspiration gong

Friday 15 May 2015
England Women played at Wembley in November 2014

The FA’s staging of England Women’s game against Germany has won the Inspiring Initiative Award at the Women's Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards.

The award recognises a project, campaign or enterprise that proves how irresistible women’s sport can be. 

An initiative that inspires others to value, engage in, watch and support women’s sport.

In front of more than 45,000 people the Lionesses played at the new Wembley for the first time when they took on Germany on 23 November 2014.

On the day England lost 3-0 to the European Champions, but despite the result the match proved to be a special occasion for women’s sport. 

It was broadcast live on BBC2, reflecting the BBC’s commitment to women’s football, and ensuring it could be watched by the widest possible audience. 

England Women

More than 45,000 turned out at Wembley for the fixture

At its peak the it attracted over one million viewers. 

England head coach Mark Sampson said the event could prove to be a landmark moment for women’s football.

“It shows how far the women’s game has come,” he commented. 

“There are so many people that need to take credit for that. This is not just the work of this team.

"This is the work of a huge group of people in the women’s football community who have developed the game over a number of years.

“The fact that we are in this position now is great credit to so many people involved in the game. 

“Hopefully we can make it a real showcase of women’s football.”

The fixture also built on the success of the women’s football matches at Wembley during the Olympics. 

More than 70,000 watched Great Britain beat Brazil at Wembley in 2012 and over 80,000 watched the USA beat Japan in the final.

“The fact that we are in this position now is great credit to so many people involved in the game”

Mark Sampson England Women's head coach

According to Sport England’s Active People survey women’s football is the biggest team sport for women in England and the fourth-largest team sport overall. 

The ceremony was attended by a number of high profile figures, including some of the country’s leading athletes, politicians, journalists and corporate leaders.

Distinguished sporting attendees included Dame Mary Peters, Will Greenwood, Christina Ohuruogo and Chrissie Wellington, along with WST Patrons Kate Richardson-Walsh, Anna Watkins, Maggie Alphonsi and Sophie Christiansen.

Broadcaster and champion for women’s sport Clare Balding closed the event with a rousing keynote speech. 

She said: “When they look back at the history of women’s sport, this will be the year that it changed.”

By FA Staff