Two Sheffield referees are to star in a Foot Locker campaign aimed at championing inclusivity in sport this summer.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 3:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 2:50 pm
Caitlin O’Grady, Sheffield referee
Caitlin O’Grady, Sheffield referee

Just as women’s football has taken centre stage, Foot Locker in Europe has launched its latest campaign that aims to inspire greater inclusivity in football and youth culture, on and off the pitch.

The sneaker retailer is partnering with three female referees across Europe to give them a platform to tell their stories as part of its new campaign. Through a partnership with the Amateur FA Referees Course, Foot Locker will also be supporting amateur female referees in the UK by funding the cost of their referee course, helping them achieve a key milestone in their path to becoming qualified referees.

The content series, which launches this June on Foot Locker’s social channels, features Sheffield’s 16 year-old Caitlin O’Grady, one of the UK’s most promising young refs; and Stacey Hall, another UK referee who has achieved level 4 status and referees male semi-professional games.

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Dutch-Surinamese Shona Shukrula, who recently made history as the first women to pass the men’s conditioning and fitness test will also feature.

Each of the three inspiring referees will star in a short film that tells their story and gives the audience an insight into what being a ref means to them, and why they should be celebrated for their skills – irrespective of gender. Caitlin comments, ''Refereeing takes confidence, thick-skin and passion for the game.” While Shona adds, “If you're unfocused even one second in the game, you lose your right to justify your decisions to yourself and to the team.”

As part of this celebration of referees, Foot Locker has changed its logo which touts the brand’s iconic black-and-white stripes to take on an additional female profile.

Carmen Seman, VP of Marketing at Foot Locker, said: “Our campaign is all about celebrating these culture shapers for their skills, regardless of gender or position on the pitch, and inspiring a future generation.”