🚧 NSCG | #IWD2022: Q&A with A Level Physical Education Subject Leader,…
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8th March 2022

Celebrating International Women's Day 2022, A Level Physical Education Subject Leader, Hannah Dale chats to us about her career in women's football and why she chose to pursue a career in teaching.

Q.How old were you when you first got into playing football?

A. I started playing football around the age of 7/8 years old. I played for my brother's football team and was the first girl in my primary school to play for the boys team. We won the league and I was their top goal scorer!

Q. Did you have an interest in other sports too or did you always focus on football?

I also played athletics and badminton which were my mum's sports and I think this is where I got the sporting bug from.

Q. Who was your childhood role model?

A. Definitely David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. I adored Manchester United and wanted to play just like them.

Q. Aged just 16, you were signed by Blackburn Rovers for their women’s team. How did this make you feel?

A. I was so proud to have reached the top of the game at such a young age and very grateful to the manager who gave me the opportunity to play and trusting a young girl to perform well.

Q. After Blackburn Rovers, where did your career in football take you?

A. I signed for Preston North End when I moved to the University of Central Lancashire. We had a few successful seasons before I joined Leeds United in the national division. Towards the end of my career I joined Stoke City and had a successful run in the cup and tournaments before finishing my career their as top goal scorer for the season.

Q. Why did you decide to into teaching?

A. I have always wanted to teach PE. My dream was having a desk to sit at and students to talk too. It’s always been my passion.

Q. How has women’s football changed since you started playing?

A. Dramatically. The game is so much bigger, there is more funding, more media coverage and young girls have such fantastic opportunities to compete at the highest level and be paid for it! I never had that opportunity but I am excited to see what the future holds for young girls, getting into any sport, especially my little girl!

Q. This year’s International Women's Day theme is #BreaktheBias. What would you say are the biggest challenges for women in football today and why is it so important to highlight them during International Women’s Day to improve equality in the sport?

A. Despite huge changes for women in sport, sexism, discrimination and pay disparity still exists in women’s sports. We have come a long way but we must continue to strive for equality in all sports for women. Every young girl should not be disadvantaged, just because they are a girl. There are lots of campaigns but men and women must do more to challenge stereotypes and provide opportunities for young girls to express themselves in sport and feel like they belong there.

Q. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A. International Women's Day means everything! The Pankhurst’s and suffragette movement did everything to set the foundations for women today to vote, speak freely and fight for equality. We must continue to follow in their footsteps and empower and celebrate women and their achievements.

Q. Finally, what advice would you give to young women starting out in their careers?

Have a strong head and believe in yourself, believe you can get to the top in anything you want to achieve in life.