Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden says “the most important thing is to be quick” as she capitalized on the Lionesses’ success at Euro 2022.
The Lionesses of England have written an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss demanding that all schoolgirls have access to a minimum of two hours a week of sports lessons, within a week of their triumph at Wembley.
Meanwhile, a wider discussion around the team’s legacy of success has dominated since their 2-1 win over Germany.
“I guess the important thing is the legacy, how much of a difference is that going to be?” Meaden told the PA News Agency while attending the National Cat Awards, for which she was a judge.
“Because having a record audience at Wembley… that means something to us. Now is the time to really lean on it.
“It’s very similar to business actually, because there’s always a time in business when it’s ripe, it’s ready.
“The most important thing is to be quick, to understand where these messages need to go and to get them out quickly because we’re all busy, we’re all very excited about things and then something else comes along and we kind of to move forward.
“But this is the moment, capitalize on it very very quickly and make sure it is spoken about, remembered and felt.
“We all felt something when the Lionesses won.
“So make sure that feeling is taken into schools, is taken into business, is spoken at the water cooler.
“It doesn’t just disappear into something that was lovely and morphs into something that made a real difference in the future.”
The 23-member England women’s team have called on Conservative leadership candidates to prioritize women’s football because “this generation of schoolgirls deserves more”.
The Euro 2022 winners have warned that ‘women’s football has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go’.
Football is the most popular team sport among young people in England, yet only a third of girls aged 5 to 18 participate in it each week, according to research by the Football Association (FA).
Only 63% of schools in England offer equal football coaching to boys and girls, the FA have found.
Meaden praised Sarina Wiegman’s team for the football they played, but also for their leadership qualities.
“What I saw in the Lionesses was a fantastic team that would make superb modern leaders,” she said.
“Old leaders who sat at the head of an organization would bark orders, tell everyone what to do, that was how it was yesterday. Let’s go. It doesn’t work in the modern world.
“But collaborative people, confident people, people who absolutely know what they want to achieve, and they’re going to get there?
“Now that’s real future leadership.
“What I’ve seen is absolutely modern leadership on display on this pitch.”