i Editor's Letter: Inspiring female stars


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The Independent Online


Last night, some 70,000 supporters packed into Wembley to watch Great Britain's women's football team play the Brazilians. It was a record for a women's football match in the UK where the previous highest of 53,000 was set in 1920 at Everton's Goodison Park (between Dick Kerr's Ladies and St Helen's Ladies since you ask).

Among them were the Hatfield daughters, with their Brazilian friend. They know their football, my Fulham-supporting girls, and have come a long way since one, then aged six, trotted off the Little League soccer field in Manhattan – mid-game – to have a chat with her friend because "it's boring, the ball hasn't come to me for ages". Actually, sometimes at Craven Cottage, a few Fulham players must have the same urge.

Along with many here at i, it has been fascinating to see how the Games have captivated our daughters. From buzzing about Lizzie Armitstead's duel in the Mall, to the emotions that swept Rebecca Adlington to her bronze and the wonderment that has followed Beth Tweddle and her friends' every step. Even with GB under-performing to date.

But there's much more to come. Rebecca (again), Keri-Ann, Victoria, Grainger and Watkins the rowers and, of course, Jess still await their golden chances. How wonderful that for these two weeks at least I don't have to spell out their other names.

Female stars who can inspire girls to achieve through talent, graft and dedication rather than taking the Kim Kardashian route. Yet another reason to conquer any lingering off-field doubts and love the sporting Olympics.