Two of Scotland’s Premiership football clubs came together ahead of International Women’s Day to celebrate their female supporters’ journey through physical and mental health challenges.
Kilmarnock FC’s women’s recreational football team welcomed the Motherwell group for a first of its kind friendly match, before the Men’s first-team meet later in the day.
World Cup winner and former Scotland and Italy international, Rose Reilly shared how proud she was of the players after the match, which saw Motherwell win 4-3.
She said: “I’m just so proud of them. Seeing them in their strips, it gives them a sense of belonging.
“These women that are playing today haven’t had the same opportunities as others to enjoy the game.
“Regardless of the result, both sets of players are winners and I support them from the bottom of my heart.”
Run by charitable foundations The Killie Community and Motherwell FC Community Trust, the sides are two of only three women’s recreational teams affiliated to SPFL clubs, with Hibernian the only other team to boast the same links.
The clubs welcome women of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to play football in a safe and inclusive environment which enables them to meet new friends and speak openly about their struggles.
Marilyn Price, one of The Killie Community’s players, said: “It’s an escape from the humdrum of everyday life. For me, it’s time to be Marilyn, instead of ‘mum’ or ‘partner’.
“At the end of the day, coming along to this, it’s improved my confidence, it’s made me happier, healthier and it helps me to open up.”
Jim Chapman, Kilmarnock FC Women’s Football Development Manager said: “This unique programme is a crucial step that not only offers an exit strategy for players on our elite pathway, but provides vital opportunities to experience the physical and mental benefits of participation, as well as ensuring lifelong involvement and enjoyment in football.”
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