It’s a big day for England Ladies tomorrow: a friendly at Wembley against Germany, in a sold-out match that has out-sold the most recent England Men’s game! It’s fantastic to see the sport doing so well – and to see Saving Lives ambassadors and supporters at the very heart of the squad!
The team’s goalkeeper, Carly Telford, is a long-term ambassador for us and is taking part in our Selfies Saving Lives campaign this month. “Saving Lives is about raising awareness and reducing stigma,” she explains. “The charity simply wants people to think again about HIV.”
Our sporting ambassadors are so important to getting the message across, as Claire Rafferty points out: “If as footballers we can help health messages reach people who might otherwise not hear them, that can only be a good thing.”
England’s coach, Mark Sampson, has said that tomorrow’s Wembley game will show the “special” nature of the women’s game in this country, and we agree. With the Guardian saying that the match will see women’s football come of age in England, it’s an exciting time – and comes on the even of National HIV Testing Week, when some of the players will be scoring for Saving Lives, too.
Karen Carney is one of them: “Selfies Saving Lives aims to spread the word that an HIV test is nothing to be afraid of. It’s easy to access and painless to perform – and it really is best to know your status.”
Toni Duggan agrees: “HIV could affect anyone – it’s that simple,” she points out. “Saving Lives is all about breaking down barriers and talking about HIV in a new way.”
We really do appreciate their support. It goes without saying that we’ll be cheering the team on tomorrow. C’mon, England!