Lionesses Champion Inclusivity with British Sign Language Jerseys in Euro 2025 Qualifier

England Lionesses Inclusivity Campaign

In an unprecedented move, the Lionesses will be donning distinctly designed pre-match jerseys, featuring British Sign Language (BSL), for their forthcoming Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden. These shirts, a brainchild of collaboration between the FA and EE, embed the players' names in BSL, amplifying an overall celebration of sign language and its potential role in driving inclusivity in football.

This endeavour speaks to new data that points to an estimated 1.2 million UK adults suffering from significant hearing impairments. Compare this to the mere 150,000 BSL users, of which 87,000 are actually deaf, and the magnitude of the problem becomes evident. These specially designed jerseys introduce a tangible reminder that the beautiful game could, and should, be made even more welcoming to its diverse fanbase and players alike.

England Lionesses Inclusivity Campaign

These jerseys are just one cog in the wheel of EE's ‘Support. It’s In Your Hands’ campaign, which prompts both the hearing and non-hearing communities to embed sign language in their everyday conversations and, particularly, those around football. This is a critical endeavor we must wholeheartedly embrace to retain the deaf football loving community within the greater discourse.

England Lionesses Inclusivity Campaign

In an additional tribute to the deaf community, England's women's deaf football team, who clinched third place at last year's World Deaf Championships in Brazil, will be in attendance and honoured during half-time. With forecasts suggesting a worrying surge to 14.2 million people affected by hearing loss in the UK by 2035, this step towards integrating BSL into one of the world's most beloved sports is not just a great stride; it is crucial.

The need for improved accessibility within football is pressing. Campaigns like this bring it to the fore, reminding us that accessible football is not just feasible but also transformative for those touched by it. Here's to the game-changers who are flipping the script and paving the way for the evolution of football as we know it.

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