England stars join Disney to counter ‘pink and flowery’ perception of princesses
The Lionesses want young girls to recognise themselves as fearless, determined, confident and brave.
England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has backed a campaign calling on young girls to recognise the “fearless” traits of Disney princesses.
The international footballer, part of the England squad competing in the European Championships in the Netherlands, said the traditional “pink and flowery” traits linked to princesses should be countered.
She told the Press Association: “We’re trying to raise the profile of the game and get more girls inspired to start playing football.
“Obviously princesses can sometimes be seen as pretty and pink and flowery and they are not perceived the way they should be and for us it’s channelling our inner princesses to show that being one is also being fearless, determined, confident and brave.”
She added: “Lots of young girls would be excited to be a princess and it’s making sure there’s lots of different reasons why they want to be and why they think they can be.”
The Dream Big campaign with Disney is part of a fresh drive to grow participation among girls at grass-roots level.
Chamberlain, who admitted her favourite Disney film is Beauty And The Beast, said: “We can grow the game if we can inspire young girls and young boys to play football, even if it’s a small number of girls we can inspire to play football and be more active then that’s success for us as well.”
She added the England squad, who beat Scotland 6-0 in their opening fixture, had been watching Disney movies when in the treatment room.
Other players involved in the campaign include captain Steph Houghton, Ellen White, Nikita Parris and Lucy Bronze.
It is a joint initiative between the Football Association and Disney and is running this summer amid England’s involvement in Euro 2017 and part of the FA’s strategy for women and girls’ football, Gameplan for Growth, which aims to double participation by 2020 and achieve success on the world stage by 2023.