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Aileen Campbell: Awards celebrate and champion the women’s game across Scotland

© Andrew CawleyTyler Rattray, winning The Val McDermid Award, along with Jane Dougall and Aileen Campbell (Pic: Andrew Cawley)
Tyler Rattray, winning The Val McDermid Award, along with Jane Dougall and Aileen Campbell (Pic: Andrew Cawley)

There is no limit on our ambition. Women’s football is only going in one direction. The question is simply, how far and how quickly?

The sport is more attractive to audiences than ever and is inspiring women and girls across the country. It is a prime example of success breeding success. Scotland’s achievements at the very top of the game are enthusing a new generation of female footballers at grassroots level who, in turn, can elevate the quality and attractiveness of women’s football to new elite levels.

And that is why Scottish Women’s Football’s annual awards ceremony is so important. It is an opportunity to celebrate successes, congratulate achievement and recognise the huge amount of work, commitment and dedication at all levels that goes into running our game.

SWF is proud of the instrumental role we have played in taking the game to the heights we see today. Because it hasn’t always been like that – over the decades women’s football has been banned, unsupported and lacked the respect it deserves. But through the grit and determination of people like Rose Reilly, Julie Fleeting, Sheila Begbie and so many others, women have been relentless in the pursuit of breaking down the barriers before them.

Scottish Women’s’ Football chief exec Aileen Campbell (Pic: Colin Poultney/CollargeImages)

That’s why the women and those involved in women’s and girls’ football are so inspiring. They are ensuring opportunities are there for aspiring young talent; they are nurturing elite performers and they are changing attitudes.

The people in our game are fierce, and we are fiercely proud of what our game stands for and achieves. This season has been like no other and it has been fantastic to see women on the biggest of stages. At Hampden, Tynecastle, Celtic Park, Easter Road, Firhill, Pittodrie, Ibrox and elsewhere, we’ve shown that if you play there, crowds will come.

Our leagues are increasing in their competitiveness and have seen wonderful displays of endeavour and success – from Montrose Women’s comprehensive and “invincible” success in the Championship North League and securing promotion to SWPL2, right through to Rangers WFC breaking the 14-year league dominance of Glasgow City. There have been lots of thrills and spills for fans and neutrals alike.

As we enter the next chapter of the women’s football story, we are determined to celebrate and champion the women’s game across Scotland so that we keep up that growth and ensure every woman and girl is able to play and enjoy football.

Our awards ceremony is an important part of increasing the visibility of what we do. We know that with The Sunday Post, we are united by a passion, drive and enthusiasm for women’s football and to ensure that future generations of women and girls know and believe football is, absolutely, for them and by them.


Aileen Campbell is chief executive of Scottish Women’s Football