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AMA: As Euro 2022 kicks off, put your questions to former England goalkeeper and mum of two Rachel Brown-Finnis

24 replies

LibbyMumsnet · 24/06/2022 15:38

We're excited to announce an AMA with Rachel Brown-Finnis, former England, Liverpool and Everton goalkeeper, TV pundit and mum of two. Rachel appeared 82 times for her country, including during the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, and was also selected in the Great Britain squad for the London 2012 Olympics.

Next week, the biggest women’s European sport event in history will kick off in England, as the Lionesses take on Austria in the first match of UEFA Women's Euro 2022. The tournament aims to leave a lasting legacy by inspiring the next generation of players and fans, and providing a platform for greater participation in women’s football.

But we know from Mumsnet users that girls often face complicated barriers to getting involved in football and other sports - whether that's because they feel self-conscious, or uncomfortable, or simply because local opportunities for them don’t exist. Worryingly, nearly 60% of girls aren’t meeting the recommended exercise guidelines.

Rachel will be here to answer your questions about breaking down those barriers, and getting girls involved in sport - as well as talking about her own experiences during a career which took her from Accrington Stanley to Alabama. You can submit your questions below!

AMA: As Euro 2022 kicks off, put your questions to former England goalkeeper and mum of two Rachel Brown-Finnis
AMA: As Euro 2022 kicks off, put your questions to former England goalkeeper and mum of two Rachel Brown-Finnis
OP posts:
Chicken669 · 24/06/2022 16:56

Do you think schools are doing enough to encourage girls to get involved in sport? What more do you think they could do?

GreenClock · 24/06/2022 21:17

Who’s the best goalkeeper currently playing in your view?

KJ2021 · 25/06/2022 13:08

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GingerScallop · 25/06/2022 17:09

What was your routine to get your core back after babies? Did you use any apps? if yes, which one(s)? What's your fitness routine currently and how do you fit that into your busy schedule?

Squeezedsquash · 25/06/2022 21:05

Hi Rachel… we went to the same secondary school and it’s been great watching your career since then. How different do you think girls PE is now to our experiences (we had v segregated PE lessons until Y10/11 when we got to use the local leisure centre, and I have to say that shared showers and PE knicker cross country put me off exercise for far too long) and what more would you encourage to do to get girls playing football and moving generally?

(Caroline Criado Perez’s podcast last week - Visible Women - was very interesting on girls play areas).

PineForestsAndSunshine · 26/06/2022 10:44

Apologies in advance because I'm not going to phrase this well, but in competitive team sports like football, how should grassroots sport strike a balance between sport for all and competitiveness?

I've noticed so many children drop out of grassroots football in their early teens as they get stuck on the bench. This seems to set off a loop whereby their lack of match experience makes them weaker, so they don't get picked, so they don't develop as fast as other players, and so forth. These are children who love the sport and would have continued to play otherwise. On the other side of the coin are the local teams who play all players equally and, as a consequence, never win anything - which is demoralising in a different way.

I hope you can spot the question in amongst the waffle!

sospansara · 28/06/2022 14:54

Hi Rachel! One of the things that always strikes me as difficult is finding the right balance between making sure teen girls aren’t made to feel self conscious in front of male peers -so for example allowing them different options for PE, being understanding about the impact of periods etc - while at the same time aspiring to change the world so that ultimately, even teen girls will be able to run around and get sweaty and throw themselves into sport without worrying about what boys think. I wondered what you think about finding that balance?

Tryingman · 28/06/2022 15:48

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Cheryl22x · 28/06/2022 18:35

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sanpellegrinocinnamonbun · 28/06/2022 19:01

What was the highlight of your football career?

And what changes would you like to see in society to make football more accessible and appealing to girls ?

SpinningTheSeedsOfLove · 28/06/2022 19:06

@Cheryl22x You need to report your post, and start your own thread on another board. I don't think you meant to post it on this one, which is questions to a former England goalkeeper. (Hope you get it sorted, though.)

RoseslnTheHospital · 28/06/2022 19:06

Should primary schools have specialist PE teachers separate to the usual classroom teachers as standard, to deliver quality PE lessons?

A further question if I may... from what I have seen with my two boys at primary school, football at this level seems to be about playing matches and winning leagues, not about fitness and skills for all. Do you think young players should be focussing on match play or more on fitness and skills?

SpinningTheSeedsOfLove · 28/06/2022 19:12

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for doing this Q&A.

If you were in charge of women's football, what would be your top three changes / improvements that you'd like to bring in?

Rose785 · 29/06/2022 07:16

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Message withdrawn - posted on wrong thread.

EmpressaurusWitchDoesntBurn · 29/06/2022 07:22

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn - posted on wrong thread.

Hi @Rose785

You’ve accidentally posted on a thread which is questions for a former England goalkeeper. You really need to start your own thread on another board like

If you report your post, MN will delete it for you. And good luck!

NeutralNinja · 30/06/2022 14:03

Hi! Thanks for doing this. My 14 year old daughter is desperate to play football. However, in her age group, girls are either already playing for a team, and they can't really welcome a complete newbie (we've tried about four teams in the area) as they want to win, and they've all been playing together for a few years.

I can't find anything to support a complete beginner getting into football at 14 years old. She wants to learn and play for a team, but the message seems to be 'tough, she's missed the boat.' There's loads for boys, why not girls?

I'd love your thoughts on this.

MarsBarRover · 04/07/2022 09:57

Hi Rachel, my daughter used to be a goalkeeper for Wiltshire at the Wiltshire Advanced coaching centre. She absolutely loved it and learnt so much. Unfortunately it cost so much to get her to the 3 hour round trip on a weeknight and the matches were even further afield.
This was the same in her local team. As the teams were few and far between, we had to travel further and further to play other teams.
Football us know for being accessible for all but if you are female and want to play at grassroots level it is expensive.
what do you think could be done to lower the cost of girls/women playing football?

HappyMackerel · 04/07/2022 10:10

Hello Rachel - thanks for coming here! I've seen some interesting stuff about the mental health benefits for girls of playing sports - in terms of confidence, body confidence, strong friendships, lower risk of anxiety, depression, eating disorders etc. Does this ring true to you from your own experience and that of girls/women around you? And why do you think that's the case?

racheltravel17 · 04/07/2022 10:31

Thanks so much for offering this opportunity! My daughter loves football but we’ve found it so difficult to find her a local girls club - she doesn’t want to play in a mixed team yet but we might have to persuade her - would love to know your pros and cons for girls playing in a mixed team. Thanks so much.

DistrictCommissioner · 04/07/2022 10:44

thanks for coming Rachel. Did you feel you experienced barriers around sport - particularly thinking about when you were at school - & do you think they are still there for your children?

Love your question PineForestsAndSunshine - my DS is only 6 but already has been asked to play in the ‘development’ squad which means he plays twice a week whereas friends play 1 a week, so even at this age a gap in emerging. It’s tricky isn’t it as athletic ability does vary.

we are excited for the Euros - I’ve got a wall chart on the walk ready!

Trinidading3 · 05/07/2022 01:41

Hi Rachel,
What advice could you give for a really sporty person we hasn't done any sport for last 10 years? They love ping pong, tennis, cycling former roller skater and ice skater and skateboarder ? Thanks for ideas....!

WithAnXXHere · 05/07/2022 02:01

Hi Rachel,

Do you think that trans women should be allowed to compete in women's sporting events?

FrecklesMalone · 06/07/2022 10:33

Did you want to be in net when you were younger? My DD is good in goal but hates the pressure so plays out as much as possible.

ViolaDaviesFanClub · 06/07/2022 13:18

Hi Rachel - thanks for coming on to Mumsnet😃

I've just seen that the winners of the women’s euros will receive £1.8 million this year but the winners of the men’s euros will get £10 million. Do you think that's fair and do you think change is on the way in this department?

Fingers crossed for the Lionesses tonight!!!

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