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MATLOCK TOWN FORM PARTNERSHIP WITH HER GAME TOO


Matlock Town have announced that they have officially partnered up with Her Game Too. Her Game Too is a campaign that launched six months ago by female football fans to raise awareness of sexist abuse in football.


Since launching in May, the Her Game Too initiative has done a superb job in highlighting the startling amount of sexist abuse that takes place within the sport; whether that be at a football match in the stadium or online on social media.


In a press release from the Gladiators on Tuesday this week, the club announced the details of their partnership with the anti-sexism campaign.


Her Game Too posters will soon be seen across The Proctor Cars Stadium including inside The Shorts Lounge clubhouse and in the ladies toilets. The posters will show the campaign's Twitter handle and their hashtag.


A page in Matlock Town's official match programmes will be designated to the Her Game Too initiative going forward while the LED scoreboard at Causeway Lane will show the Her Game Too hashtag at various points throughout match days.


Matlock Town's social media accounts will promote the campaign while it has also been agreed in principle for a Her Game Too weekend to be staged at some point in 2022 which would involve Matlock's men's team playing at Causeway Lane on a Saturday with Matlock's ladies team playing at The Proctor Cars Stadium the very next day. The weekend of football in the town would be specially dedicated to the anti-sexism campaign, its progress and what its aims going forward are.


To mark the announcement, Derbyshire Media Company interviewed one of the founders of the Her Game Too campaign: Victoria Wood. Victoria grew up in north-east Derbyshire and attended some Matlock Town games at Causeway Lane as a child.


Victoria told us in detail about why something like Her Game Too was sorely needed for football and what its chief aims are:


"The aim is to eradicate sexism from football and to make women feel comfortable going to football matches. This is regardless of whether it's women who are season ticket holders and watch their club play every week home and away or women who occasionally see a football match. They shouldn't be made to feel that they don't belong there...we ran a survey recently in which we heard back from 400 women who attend football games and over 90% of those people who responded have either experienced or witnessed sexist abuse either in person or online regarding football and it's just something that needs to stop. It shouldn't be a case of having to prove yourself to men that you're a real football fan...we want to get more and more girls and women feeling like they can be a part of football."

"We can educate people who do want to learn...we're working with clubs that want to push the message forward...Twitter isn't a great place most of the time...you can really see the difference in how I'm treated as a woman that talks about football and goes to football games."







Matlock Town certainly aren't the first football club to partner up with Her Game Too. Victoria told us how widespread the support has been so far and how encouraging the future looks for the initiative:


"We've formed a partnership with quite a few EFL sides now as well as non-league teams. We're yet to fully secure a partnership with a Premier League club but we're in talks with two Premier league teams currently, so it's neck and neck as to which one will be the first Premier League club to join up with us. At this moment in time, I think we're up to 30 different football clubs that we've partnered up with which is great. A lot of people that we hold meetings with when forming partnerships with football clubs are men. They've all been very keen to get involved because they want to do better...it's great to see that these men are wanting to do the right thing."


Victoria was also asked about what she considers to be Her Game Too's main successes so far since its launch in May:


"The first big success was our launch video right at the start of it all. I think it's now received 12,000,000 impressions on Twitter and has been viewed 1,900,000 times and the Her Game Too account now has 17,000 followers on Twitter which is just phenomenal. On our website, we now have a reporting system. So if you are a woman that's been to a football ground and received sexist abuse, you can now visit our website and report it. We are getting more and more reports come through. Even if we're not partnered with the club in question in something that's been reported to us, we're acting as that go-between to try and challenge these clubs into acting on something. Some clubs have been absolutely phenomenal with this. We find that when we tell people directly from clubs who are ready to partner up with us of the sexist abuse and awful comments that has been reported by a female supporter of their club, that they grimace when they hear the words said aloud. They're appalled by what's being said, but for us we can just read it aloud deadpan because we're so used to these comments. But the reporting system has definitely been a success. We don't just want to be a banner at the side of the pitch and have marketing; we need to actually act on what's happening."


Victoria also went into detail as to why it's essential to Her Game Too that football clubs like Matlock Town actively get involved with the anti-sexism campaign:


"I think it's really important. I want us to be partnered with every football club. I've been to Matlock Town matches before as a young girl with my dad and I grew up in north-east Derbyshire. If I'd have seen these Her Game Too posters and images back then, it would have made me realise that sexist comments that women and girls received should not just be a normal thing to happen. For us at Her Game Too, if one woman or one girl sees one of our posters at a football ground anywhere in the country and feels a bit more empowered or not as alone, then that's the campaign doing its job. So for clubs like Matlock Town joining up with us, that's absolutely great. Non-league clubs tend to be very involved with their local community. That helps to get our message across to lots of local communities and helps us to get our aims across and get more people to better understand what we're all about. To see our message in person rather than just online and on social media helps us to stand out more."



For further information, Her Game Too's website can be found at hergametoo.co.uk and the campaign's Twitter handle is @HerGameToo



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