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Raising the game

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12.48

When the numbers of women voted into Parliament began to rise, it was claimed that they would introduce a gentler, more thoughtful and gracious approach to politics. That hope appears to have been dashed as many female MPs prefer to take on the men at their own game, perhaps to prove that they can hold their own.

With the rise to prominence of women's football we have another chance. It would be a pity if, instead of showing a better way, female footballers merely aped the laddish behaviour of some of their male counterparts. What a lost opportunity if, instead of re-introducing values of mutual respect, fair play and restraint, we were subjected to more of the adversarial, violent and greedy attitudes which threaten the reputation of male-dominated professional sport at the moment.

By way of a humorous aside, Annice and I met a lawyer from a smart legal practice in London while on holiday a couple of years ago. He was a passionate supporter of Chelsea Football Club, attending every game. When I asked if he ever felt vulnerable on account of his posh attire and plummy tones, he replied "not at all". Most of his fellow spectators were just like himself: affluent professionals - lawyers, doctors, estate agents - because only they could afford the exorbitant entry fees!

So come on you, lionesses: we need your spirit off as well as on the pitch!



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