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Women’s football conference kicks off on International Women’s Day

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A University of Stirling researcher has co-ordinated a national conference on women’s football – held at Scotland’s national football stadium.

The ‘Everything to Play For’ event on 8 March, at Hampden Park, coincided with International Women’s Day.

It was organised by Karen Grunwell, a postgraduate researcher undertaking a University of Stirling-funded PhD, investigating the heritage and archives of women’s football in Scotland.

The event – the first national football conference on women’s football in Scotland for nearly 25 years – marked the history of the women’s game in the country.

Karen, who is based in the University's Faculty of Arts and Humanities, hoped the event would look to build on “current successes in the national and domestic game to inspire the next generation of footballers and consider how to fulfil the potential of the women’s game”.

Women's football match

The conference was a joint venture between Scottish Women’s Football, the Scottish Football Museum and the University of Stirling.

Clubs, players, national organisations, academics and the wider football community – past and present – from across the country came together to learn about the history of women’s football, consider the current position and discuss future developments.

The day was compered by Jane Dougall, Sky Sports presenter, who facilitated panel discussions featuring women currently or previously involved in the women’s game. They discussed the past, present and future of women’s football in Scotland.

Karen’s research is one of two PhD projects investigating aspects of women’s football in Scotland, instigated by the late Dr Kat Lindner, a former Glasgow City player. The second is a funded collaborative project between the University of Strathclyde and the SFA, investigating fandom and media coverage of the national team.

Karen said that, in recognition of Dr Lindner’s contribution to women’s football in Scotland, the conference was dedicated to her memory.

Research

Karen added: “Kat’s contribution to women’s football in Scotland cannot be underestimated – from the skill and dedication she showed in her days playing for Glasgow City, to the participation in the work of the SWF and her endeavours to bring consideration of women’s football in Scotland to the fore within her academic work.

“The two PhD projects were developed by her as a means to address areas that had been previously overlooked in Scotland.

“It is a pleasure to work on this research, initiated by Kat, and to strive to produce a history of women’s football in Scotland that will fulfil her objective to uncover the stories of the fascinating, dedicated and tenacious women who make up the history of women’s football in Scotland. I am just very sad that she will not be here to see the finished product.”

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