(Written by Katee Hui, Founder of Hackney Laces)
On April 22nd, I’ll be running 26.2 Miles through the streets of London.
I’m running for a cause incredibly close to my heart, the Laces. Throughout my whole life football has been a vital source of opportunity, inspiration, and friendship. When I set up Hackney Laces six years ago I never imagined that we’d grow into the army of female footballers that we are today, hundreds strong and growing.
We believe that every girl and woman should have a chance to play – from our mini and little laces 7 years old and up; to our teenage lot; to the women and vintage laces – our pitches welcome everyone. But there are still numerous barriers that stand in the way, like: funding, space, respect, confidence, childcare, and cultural issues to name a few. At Laces, we do everything in our power to overcome these. And we do this with the generous support of our volunteers, coaches, communities, and friends.
It takes a lot to run a club. The support we need is often for basic things like pitch hire (£60 per hour); travel costs to get our girls to matches and for things like qualifications and training. We also provide opportunities for the Laces off the pitch like getting their FA level 1 coaching badge (more women coaches is only a good thing!) and youth leadership awards.
Now my training has commenced, I’ve got some new shoes, and all the enthusiasm in the world for what’s to come. And I’d be super grateful for your support for me and the whole Laces family.