Lewes FC players shine a light on the entrepreneurship of their female players in line with International Women's Day

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Lewes FC and SumUp have partnered to reveal the off-field careers of their female players.
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Ahead of International Women's Day (March 8), the Sussex-based football club famous for funding both their men’s and women’s teams equally, Lewes FC, and global fintech SumUp have partnered to showcase the off-field careers of their female first team players, celebrating female entrepreneurship and highlighting the issue the of funding disparity in the women’s game.

Despite the success of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, women’s football is still facing a watershed moment in terms of funding disparity. An investigation led by The Telegraph revealed that the average WSL player earned £47,000 annually - with some earning as low as £20,000 per year, whereas data from the Global Sports Survey found that the average Premier League player earns more than that as a weekly salary (£60,000 per week).

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Constantly looking to ensure the financial security of female players, some Lewes FC players past and present have been helped in their professional journey by Lewes FC’s efforts to establish a Dual Career Programme. Players have received one on one support, mentoring, and real work paid experience.

Lewes FCLewes FC
Lewes FC

Rhian Cleverly, Lewes FC defender and club captain, said: “I am Lewes FC’s Player Liaison & Lifestyle Officer, working as part of Lewes FC’s Dual career programme, which supports players off the pitch with everything from accommodation, well-being, education, media, lifestyle and career. Also, ensure clear and consistent communication through different personnel at the club to get the best environment for players to thrive.

“I also work as a Programme Delivery Consultant for Love Local Jobs Foundation’s “Dare to dream” Programme. The programme offers inspirational speaking, workshops and mentoring to build resilience, boost confidence, enhance happiness, raise aspirations, develop character and improve the choices of comprehensive students. My overall Purpose and Ambition is to help others become their best possible selves.”

Hannah Godfrey, Lewes FC defender, said: “Lois (Roche) and I founded Pro2Pro Academy, which is a girls only elite football academy for aspiring footballers aged 6-18. It is coached and run by current female professional footballers with the aim of creating opportunities and inspiring the next generation. We provide positive female role models who can mentor and coach the girls on a weekly basis in a safe and fun environment. We not only help to develop their technical ability, but we also help to build confidence and push these girls to be the best version of themselves. It’s the biggest and only girls football academy coached by current female professional footballers.”

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Hollie Olding, Lewes FC Midfielder: “My goal is to set up my own brand consultancy and niche down into the world of women’s football where I can work closely with brands and provide insightful knowledge to help plan and run their marketing campaigns.”

Other careers include Amelia Hazard and Valentine Pursey, who work as grassroots football coaches for children. Caragh Hamilton is a football pundit and columist. Hannah Godfrey and Lois Roche founded Pro2Pro Academy, the only elite football academy coached by exclusively current female professional players. Holly Olding plans to set up her own brand consultancy, where she intends to use her knowledge of marketing to help clubs and organisations in the world of women's football run their own campaigns.

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