Lioness Lucy Bronze on the Team’s BSL Shirts: “It’s Important to Use Our Platform”


Image Source: EE

England’s Lionesses will again show they walk/run the walk as well as talking the talk when it comes to inclusivity, by this weekend wearing training tops with British Sign Language (BSL) on.

When the Lionesses warm up against Sweden tonight (Friday April 5) for their key European Qualifier they will wear training tops that spell out their names in the British Sign Language fingerspelling alphabet.

The BSL training tops worn at Wembley tonight are part of a partnership with the FA and EE’s “Support: It’s In Your Hands” campaign. The team hope that by showcasing the fingerspelling alphabet on their shirts, it will act as a visual reminder that football should and can be made more accessible for all fans.

New data shows that while 1.2million adults in the UK have hearing loss severe enough to impede them having most conversational speech, there are only around 150,000 BSL signers. Of those signers, 87,000 are deaf. It’s estimated that by 2035, 14.2 million people in the UK will experience hearing loss.

Image Source: EE

Speaking ahead of the game, Lionesses star Lucy Bronze, said: “As footballers, it is important to use our platform to spread messages of inclusivity wherever possible. I, together with the rest of the team, will be proud to wear these shirts ahead of our game against Sweden at Wembley. Anything that can be done to help the deaf community feel more welcome in football is an important step.”

The shirts will be available to fans via EE’s Instagram channel and an auction of the unique “Signed Shirts” will raise money for the Royal Associate for Deaf People.

Related: Meet the Football Coaches Pushing For Women to Have a Seat at the Table

The England women’s deaf football team will also attend the game, sitting in the Royal Box and at half time there will be a special presentation to celebrate their third place finish at the 2023 World Deaf Championships in Brazil.

“Support. It’s In Your Hands” is a campaign launched by EE, the lead partner of the Home Nations Football Associations to keep the BSL users in the deaf community involved in the football conversation by encouraging the use of sign language in both deaf and non-deaf communities.

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director, EE said: “By promoting British Sign Language during a high-profile competitive game between two of the best sides in the world, we hope to encourage both deaf and non-deaf communities to embrace this essential form of communication. As the lead partner of the Home Nations Football Associations, we are committed to making football accessible for everyone. We hope football fans will use this opportunity to not only support the Lionesses but to also learn more about BSL, so we can help everyone feel a part of the football conversation.”

Rhiannon Evans is the interim content director at POPSUGAR UK. Rhiannon has been a journalist for 17 years, starting at local newspapers before moving to work for Heat magazine and Grazia. As a senior editor at Grazia, she helped launch parenting brand The Juggle, worked across brand partnerships, and launched the “Grazia Life Advice” podcast. An NCE-qualified journalist (yes, with a 120-words-per-minute shorthand), she has written for The Guardian, Vice and Refinery29.

Related Posts
Latest Fitness
The End.

The next story, coming up!