International Women’s Day: Join In With The Hornets’ 2023 Celebrations

By: Watford FC Staff

International Women’s Day (Wednesday March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. The Hornets are proud to continue our tradition of being at the forefront of football’s campaign to be fully inclusive by supporting International Women’s Day.

Last Friday (March 3) marked the start of five days of awareness, including activations at both the men’s and women’s team matches last weekend, before which our players wore warm-up t-shirts designed by Stephen Dawber-Derks from Geshers School, who won a competition organised by Watford FC’s Community Sports & Education Trust.

The Women of Watford supporters’ group and the club have worked together since the group’s formation in 2021, to deliver on a number of projects and ideas. Among the highlights, Kate Lewers, the founder of WOW, delivered an informative talk about women’s safety, respect, consent and allyship to our Academy players at the London Colney training ground ahead of the match against Blackpool in January.

The club recently announced that Megan Chandler from our women’s team has joined men’s team centre-half Christian Kabasele as a patron of WOW. As part of Watford Football Club’s celebrations for International Women’s Day, Chandler and Kabasele joined Kate and Fran Lynn from WOW for a podcast to discuss the group’s foundation, values and aims, as they work to improve the experiences of women attending football.

The club’s retail team has also engaged with WOW to develop a range of fashionwear for women, which we’re planning to launch soon.

We asked Kate to share a few more details about the work they’ve been doing...

She said: “WOW has been a big part of the club now for over 18 months, and in that time we’ve achieved a lot. We were honoured to receive the Supporter Engagement Award at the FSA Awards back in November in recognition of that. When I tell you we weren’t expecting to win... well that would be an understatement! However it was incredible for our members to receive recognition for all their hard work and dedication - I am so proud of them, and it’s a real privilege to continue to meet, get to know and call these members my friends.

“As ever we’ve got a lot in the pipeline and plans galore for the next 12 months that I could tell you about. But actually what I’d like to do, rather than focus on the ‘big’ things, is show you how WOW has changed the lives of one of our female fans. Because in all honesty this is the biggest thing about WOW - the individual stories of empowerment, of finding their voice and the community of supportive female fans we now have at Watford ready to welcome any guys, gals and non-binary pals who’d like to join. So without further ado, I will hand over to Lisa Beavan...”

Lisa said: “Just a brief introduction to the old me – for over 30 years I have been a mum and wife, supporting Watford FC for even longer. I was content doing everything with my husband and family but over time I lost my individual identity. Less than two years ago my whole world changed. My son went to study in the USA, my daughter went off to university and I then found out that my 20-year marriage was coming to an end. For so long I had been part of a family of four, but now I lived on my own.

“A few months later, I saw a message on social media inviting female supporters to join WOW on their first away day to Brentford. The thought of me, and my mum, going to away games on our own was a little daunting but we decided to go for it. We met other women in a pub just around the corner from the ground. We participated in an interview with Kelly Somers, before walking to the ground as a group.

“We had some interesting comments about being a group of mums, as well as wolf whistles and more. Many people believe the type of behaviour we encountered to be a thing of the past, and although not all females have the same experiences, at times I have felt quite uncomfortable.

“Anyway, the less said about that game the better, but it was the start of positive things to come for the new me, and for WOW. Along with my mum and occasionally my daughter, we attended other away days with WOW, slowly building up a new circle of friends. For me, going through a divorce was difficult at first, but my new friends became a source of support, without them even knowing.

“It hit me most when my parents were away in Spain, which coincided with WOW having their first social event, a get together at the Estcourt Tavern on International Women’s Day. I debated whether to go or not. I am usually confident, and I’ll talk to anyone, but I had never had to walk into a pub on my own. So this was another first for me. WOW has allowed me to attend games on my own, knowing that there will be a friendly face there when I arrive.

“It has given me the confidence to go to new grounds that are unfamiliar to me. Some of us have even discussed travelling to games together using car share, if we’d prefer that to going on the coach with WOW. On occasions, I have shared my appreciation with Kate, who added some of my comments to the report requested by the FSA when WOW were nominated for a supporters’ group award (which we actually won!).

“My children have seen the change in me, and my pride in being part of the Watford FC family has grown, even when results don’t go our way. To be part of WOW, backed by Watford FC, and encouraging other clubs to follow our lead in setting up their own women’s groups, can only be positive.”

To find out more or get involved, you can find Women of Watford FC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Back to the Hornets’ matches last weekend, and from a partnerships point of view we were pleased that Stake, Corpay, American Airlines and Alan Day all changed their LED logos to IWD purple throughout.

There was also an advert in the men’s official matchday programme (available for £3.50 online HERE) featuring a QR code that provides fans with access to the Clementine app for three months for free. Clementine is an app that helps you shift your mindset, using hypnotherapy to help you get to sleep, improve your confidence and reduce your stress and anxiety. The three-month membership gives access to 80+ mindset shifting sessions, all the deep sleep sessions and courses to help you become more calm and confident.

Fans can also get 15% off at using code WFC15. WUKA is a locally-based, female-led start-up offering the UK’s largest range of reusable, leak-proof period wear for teens and adults. Using this code is also part of a community give back project.

Watford FC CSE Trust’s Feel Good Fitness sessions are also available for anyone who identifies as female and has little to no previous experience of physical activity. The sessions cover a range of activities, with the focus on getting active, looking after your health & wellbeing, and having fun and making friends.

There are currently two sessions taking place every week at the Meriden Community Centre on Tuesday evenings: Introduction to the Gym (5.30pm - 6.30pm) and a Body Sculpt Fitness Session (6.30pm - 7.30pm), with a third weekly session to be added very soon. Please contact for more information.

Watch Now

Share this article

Other News