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Dulwich Hamlet Football Club to celebrate International Women’s Day with special one-off kit

Dulwich Hamlet Football Club will once again celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) this Saturday, 11 March 2017, against Merstham FC (kick off 3pm). The day will be an opportunity to celebrate the contribution that women have made to Dulwich Hamlet FC and our local community.

To commemorate the occasion the Club have adopted the campaign’s theme of #BeBoldForChange and commissioned a special one-off purple kit in lieu of their famous pink and blue colours. Purple is the primary colour used for IWD because it stands for justice and dignity. The kit will also feature the logos of IWD’s charity partners, Catalyst and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

After the game, thanks to the Football Committee, there will be an opportunity for supporters to bid for one of the match-worn one-off shirts by entering a silent auction with all proceeds going to IWD’s charity partners Catalyst and WAGGGS. Further details on how you can do this will be released shortly.

Liam Hickey, Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Chairman, said: “As a Football Club that endeavours to make everyone welcome at Champion Hill I take great pride in the fact that we have such a high proportion of women who come to our games supporting The Hamlet. It is no coincidence that we try to be such an inclusive Club, with a social conscience, so that anyone and everyone will feel welcome, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, age, ability or religion. I would like to thank the Ryman League for allowing us to wear a special one-off purple kit in support of IWD, and thank our main shirt sponsors, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, who have stepped aside to allow this to happen.”

Alex Atack, Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust Vice-Chair said: “I’ve been going to football matches for over 20 years, initially as a fan of Reading Football Club. As a young, female, football fan and player I was always in a distinct minority at matches, surrounded by older guys. Whilst this was never a concern for me, I know it was less than appealing to the majority of my friends who could not associate with the experience. When I moved to London 7 years ago I started following Dulwich Hamlet and the contrast in the make-up of the crowd is striking. Standing on the terraces home and away I am now surrounded by men, women and children from all walks of life and all are welcomed to the Club equally. This diversity is embraced at all levels of the club, from the staff employed to the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust Board and volunteers who help on match days. Showing our support for IWD is just one further way that we as a Football Club can demonstrate our values of inclusivity and help to champion the positive role models within the game”.

Mishi Morath, Football Committee lead on the community issues said: “This promises to be a great day, showcasing everything that is good about Dulwich Hamlet. It demonstrates yet again the closesness of the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust and the Football Committee, working together for the good of both our Club & the local community”.

International Women’s Day organiser Glenda Stone said: “Dulwich Hamlet Football Club is to be applauded for their tremendous effort and support in bringing together local communities to raise awareness about women’s equality. Men can play a strong role in advocating for a more inclusive society. All sport should be inclusive, and Dulwich Hamlet Football Club’s activity supporting IWD certainly promotes this message with great effect.”

IWD is celebrated annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to theatre performances, fashion parades and a football game! More can be found here – www.internationalwomensday.com

Deborah Gillis, President of Catalyst Inc said: “There still remains a gap on perceptions regarding male and female athletes and their roles relative to their fan bases, including young women and girls. We’re hopeful that times are changing and we see more individual athletes and teams pledge support to young women and their sporting future. We at Catalyst know that for young women and girls to thrive without barriers that have long prevented their full participation, they need the sponsorship of champions, especially the male ones, both on and off the field.”

Matt Collis, Head of Strategic Partnerships at WAGGGS says “As the world’s leading organisation dedicated to supporting and empowering girls and young women to achieve their fullest potential, WAGGGS is pleased to see football teams such as Dulwich Hamlet supporting this important event and helping girls grow in confidence and develop important life skills. From Rwanda to Italy, we have seen first hand that the change needed to address equality can happen at a grassroots level.”

Nick Robinson, Isthmian League Chairman, said: “The League is delighted that Dulwich Hamlet FC are marking International Women’s Day.  In particular the League have been delighted to give the Club dispensation to wear their special kit on 11 March.  Dulwich Hamlet are the longest standing members of the Isthmian League having joined the League in 1907 and been in continuance membership ever since.  We are delighted to have the Club in membership and are so pleased to see how they develop as a community club embracing all parts of the community proving that football is inclusive football.  I personally wish the club and their officials, players and supporters all success on this important day”.

On the day both teams will be led onto the pitch by young female footballers from the official DHFC charity partner for 2016/17, ‘Football Beyond Borders’.