England striker Shaunagh Brown calls for more sport in state schools


England striker Shaunagh Brown believes that increasing the number of sporting opportunities in state schools is key to addressing the lack of diversity evident in elite-level women’s teams.

Brown was present at Wembley last month to watch the Lionesses beat Germany in the Euro 2022 final and was surprised to see players from minority ethnic backgrounds absent from the starting line-up.

Former England defender Anita Asante responded to the side’s “wisdom” by declaring that “visibility matters” and Brown admits it’s also a trait shared by the Red Roses.

The 32-year-old believes the solution to making sports like rugby and football more attractive to girls and women is to expand their state education offerings.

“If you look at the Lionesses team that played in the finals, they are all white. That caught my eye straight away,” Umbro Ambassador Brown told the PA news agency.

“I walk into a room and I’m generally the only woman of mixed race and sometimes the only person of color, period, so I notice it.

“It’s not the fault of the player and it’s not the fault of the staff or the support system because they only have a certain pool of talent to choose from.

“The problem – and it is a problem – is where the talent comes from. What systems are in place in government schools to encourage people like me to play rugby at all ages like they do with boys in private schools?

England enter the World Cup as favorites after winning a fourth consecutive Six Nations title earlier this year (PA)

(PA wire)

“Where do rugby clubs get their talent from? They need to invest in secondary government schools and that would open up a world to so many more people.

“There is still a very, very long way to go in terms of diversity in sport, but that starts at a much lower level than at the elite level. It’s certainly something I notice.

“There are still so many positives in women’s football, but overall there is still a long way to go.

“Only 13 per cent of the people in this country are ethnic minorities so you have to be realistic about that but there’s no reason we can’t give undue encouragement to people who don’t normally play rugby or any sport.”

Brown will be involved in England’s quest to win a third World Cup in New Zealand this autumn as they look to reinforce the feel-good factor that women’s sport elicits from their footballing peers.

Even for a side viewed as clear favorites with an impressive 23-Test win streak, it will be difficult to generate a comparable level of interest given the different time zones.

But Brown insists England 2025 could be a transformative moment for women’s rugby – if the hosts deliver.

“When I was at Wembley I thought ‘we could do this as rugby,'” she said.

“The Rugby Football Union is looking to fill Twickenham for the final in 2025 and while that is a very bold statement and there is still work to be done, we know there is a mission to invest in women and women in rugby.”

However, Brown’s immediate aim is to manage the ongoing heatwave while England’s World Cup preparations continue.

“The sun was a huge factor and we tried to mitigate that. It was very, very hard! We have ice towels and spend time in the shade or train earlier,” she said.

* Shaunagh Brown is an Ambassador for Umbro. For more information visit or follow @Umbro_Rugby on Instagram England striker Shaunagh Brown calls for more sport in state schools

Fry Electronics Team

Fry is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button