Women set to make history
The Birmingham Lions’ Women’s team are proud to announce not only their first ever 9-a-side fixture but their first ever international club game also. Lining up against French side, Les Sparkles – located some 20km south of Paris in Villeneuve St Georges – Britain’s reigning champions will look to compete against their hosts in a fully sanctioned fixture on Saturday 31st January.
“It’s going to be a significant challenge” commented Lions’ Club Captain Jo Kilby, “we were only established in January 2014 and the only experience we’ve had (greater than 5 a-side) is with our Great Britain representatives last summer.”
Les Sparkles, established in 2011, are historically an 11 a-side team who this year will step down to 9s, to accommodate their federation’s first national championship, which starts in March.
“The Birmingham Lions are a tremendous programme and worthy national champions” offered Andy Fuller, Director, British American Football Association (BAFA) in endorsement “…they will prove tremendous ambassadors for their university, BAFA and British women’s football in general. We’d also like to thank our counterparts in France for supporting this initiative.”
“We want to keep raising the bar, for both the Lions and the sport as a whole” added Kilby, “…we’ve a large squad and whilst we’ve been training since October (2014) in the absence of formal competition (until February this year) we wanted something significant to focus on and Les Sparkles fit the bill perfectly.
A squad of 40 will travel to France on Friday 30th January and play the following day; kick off is at 2pm and the fixture will take place at the Stade Gérard Roussel.
May we take this opportunity to wish the team the very best of luck in their pioneering endeavours and thank Les Sparkles, their President, Sarah Riahi, and the Fédération Française de Football Américain for their enthusiasm and support in facilitating this event.
Image graphics courtesy of and with thanks to Jean-Paul J Neveu.
Original source images courtesy of and with thanks to Whizzyfingers Photography.