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COMMUNITY: Club and CST host International Women’s Day event

First of its kind a huge success

8 March 2023


COMMUNITY: Club and CST host International Women’s Day event

First of its kind a huge success

8 March 2023

At the home game against Grimsby Town last Saturday [Saturday 4 March] the club held its first International Women’s Day (IWD) event, inviting several prominent women from the area to talk about this year’s IWD theme of ‘Equity’ and to tell us a little about how they came to be where they are today.


CLUB: International Women’s Day at Carlisle United

4 March 2023

Present were:

  • Gabby Stephenson, Suicide Safer Communities Coordinator, Every Life Matters
  • Carlisle City Councillor and Deputy Leader of Cumberland-Lisa Brown
  • Jane Ann Clark - Period Equality/Cumbria Pride & and Kelly Cromie from Tesco
  • Kristine Green-Fan Director, SLO & Supporters Trust Chair Grimsby Town
  • John Stevenson - MP Carlisle
  • Martin Vickers - MP Cleethorpes
  • Adrienne Gill - Carlisle Refugee Action Group
  • Teresa Mulholland - Assistant Manager, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust
  • Nigel Davidson - Fan Director and EDI Officer Carlisle United
  • Sarah McDonald - Equality & Diversity Manager, Cumbria Police
  • Four guests Rozma, Roma, Mozhgan & Resalat Ghafouri

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to showcase the social, economic, cultural and political achievements women in our community have accomplished.

Our speakers on Saturday talked about their own struggles trying to find ‘equity’ in their own lives, personally and professionally. Often hitting barriers related to their gender, but finding a way to ultimately open the obstacles, but not without a fight. 

The collective stories and experiences of the women in the room were an example of how we can all inspire future generations to follow their dreams in various roles such as football, education, community and politics etc, no matter what gender you are.


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We also had four sisters as guests, originally from Afghanistan, but who are currently here after fleeing Iran.

The sisters are all footballers and coaches and so far, one of them, Mozghan, has been training with our Carlisle Ladies team, coached by Tracy Gannon. A further article on their journey will follow.

Teresa Mulholland, assistant manager, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, said: “This was another great example of the Trust and the club working together to organise an event, showcasing the amazing women of our community.

“We were honoured to have such special guests sharing their journeys which have led them to their current roles today. A big thank you to our CST manager for the donation of cakes, which went down extremely well on the day!”

Nigel Davidson, club fan director and EDI Officer, said: “It has been such a pleasure to be involved in various events celebrating International Women’s Day 2023.

“The club and Community Sports Trust have played a big part in hosting events, welcoming people to the Brunton Park and to the city. Some of our recent additions to the area come with fascinating, often heart-breaking stories, and we are doing all we can to support them and ensure their life in Carlisle begins on a positive note.”


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Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “This event was a first for us but another in our ongoing efforts to play our part in addressing inclusion, diversity and equality issues affecting the game, our local community, and our club. 

“It also marked the start of March being the EFL’s ‘Together month’ with events to support Disability, Women’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination.

“We have more to come from the family of women and young girls from Afghanistan who visited us. It was great to see everyone here for this event, and then as new United fans to see us win. 

“At a time when elsewhere in the city there was real hostility and negativity about immigration, we are proud of what we do. It shows how important this kind of thing is and the difference a club like Carlisle United can make.”

Labour Councillor, Lisa Brown said: “I was honoured to be asked to join in the event on Saturday, having worked closely with CUFC CST in the past I know how hard they work within our community.

“It was a great afternoon and it was really inspiring to hear from all the women. Their stories need to be heard so that we can empower generations of girls to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.”


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Chair of Cumbria Pride, Jane Ann Clark said: “I had a wonderful time at United’s international Women’s Day with Kelly on Saturday, meeting lots of inspirational women and listening to what makes them do what they do.

“It was also lovely to meet the ladies who travelled up from Grimsby to attend and to be able to speak at the event about Period Equality for all in Cumbria, and sign CUFC up as a place we support with products.”

Every Life Matters’ Gabby Stephenson said: “It was such a privilege to be asked to speak at the IWD event and meet other inspirational women in our community.

“I am looking forward to heading back to Carlisle United in the coming weeks to deliver our suicide awareness training to the Community Sports Trust staff.”

Community Sports Trust Coach & Inclusion Officer Ryan Godderidge said: “To celebrate Internationals Women’s Day the Carlisle United Ladies team came to Carlisle United’s Community Sports Trust Kicks session at Carlisle Youth Zone on Monday.

“Our female participants got the chance to train with the players, ask questions and share experiences. We finished the session off with some matches with all our participants. Huge thank you to the ladies team as everyone involved had a fantastic time!”

Following on from the event on Saturday, we held a further event on Monday evening for Carlisle United’s Community Sports Trust ‘Kicks’ session at Carlisle Youth Zone.

The Carlisle United Ladies Team were present and the girls from the ‘Kicks’ session were able to ask the team questions about their pathways into football. We were also joined by Rozma, Roma, Mozhgan & Resalat as well as Lilian Kopivo, another recent addition to the Carlisle United Ladies Development Team, who arrived in the area recently from Kenya.

Lilian and her partner Cynthia Waggah have been guests at the club previously and their story is another which we will cover in more detail in another article.

Lilian joined us on Monday evening at the ‘Kicks’ event shortly after giving a talk at Tullie House for International Women’s Day.

The talk, given along with partner Cynthia, told of their upbringing in Kenya through to their eventual need to flee the country of their birth purely down to their sexuality.

Photos: Nigel Davidson

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