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July 2, 2019

Equal playing field: Kelly Lindsey working to drive forward the women’s game

Six months after CONIFA took its first step to gender equality at its 2019 AGM in Krakow, and five months after appointing Kelly Lindsey as its Director of Women’s Football, we checked in with Kelly to see how her plans are shaping up to ensure CONIFA’s women’s teams grow and develop alongside their male counterparts.

Kelly’s determination to host the first CONIFA Women’s World Cup as soon as possible is tempered with the realisation that women’s teams first need to be supported and given a place to play, train and become the best they can be. Kelly has also spent the first months of her tenure developing the dedication, passion and drive required to shape the future of women’s football.

Kelly explains further: “As I look at women’s football past, present and future, there is a lot to celebrate… but far less than there should be in 2019. I want to work with CONIFA in order to think differently, act differently, govern, listen and lead differently. I refuse to accept that the way it has always been done is what is best for the women’s game.

“My first goal as part of CONIFA was to build a strategic team of female leaders who would positively challenge, disrupt and transform the way the world looks at women’s sport, women’s football and – in my mind – the ‘women’s game’ globally. That encompasses all women, across all sectors, at all ages.

“I am excited to announce the CONIFA Women’s Strategic Team and outline our mission, vision, values and first steps in our pursuit of transforming the women’s game through developing the best place in the world for women to play!

“We value and appreciate CONIFA’s drive to elevate the women’s game, and the men and women working tirelessly to build bridges and unite diverse cultures, ideas and values under an inclusive umbrella to unite people through football. There is no better place and space for us to build the future of the women’s game together.

“I am very proud to introduce this amazing team of women, who come from diverse backgrounds, leadership roles, and management positions to challenge and transform the status quo in women’s football. In addition we are always looking to invite, engage and collaborate with people on a mission to elevate the ‘Women’s Game’.”

Kelly’s plans are targeted on the following six core values and functions. These will form the base of the strategic plans for developing CONIFA’s women’s teams and tournaments, and will be executed alongside CONIFA’s wider equality commitment.

1/ The CONIFA Women’s Strategy Team

* Pulling together diverse, innovative minds from the women’s game: women who have worked in diverse areas including governance, competitions, media, fan engagement and education.

2/ Vision

* This can be summed up neatly with the slogan: ‘Be the equal playing field!’ In other words, positively disrupt and transform the management, governance and development of women’s football and allow CONIFA to be the leader in the women’s game for players, coaches, management, referees and leadership. This allows women to define their future on and off the playing field.

3/ Commitment

* Align our actions as leader’s in the women’s game with our values, and collaborate with like-minded individuals and organisations who operate with integrity, equality, and respect.

4/ Be the equal playing field!

* CONIFA should be the place where every little girl can play football. Where every female can represent their people regardless of gender, and according to the life and journey of a young girl through adolescence and into adulthood.

5/ Values

* There are five core values our team will work to:

  • Character
  • Unity
  • Intention
  • Grit
  • Fearless

These five values guide everything that is done by the group and are encouraged and celebrated amongst its teams.

6/ Working closely with CONIFA members

* This includes working with female groups in CONIFA to:

  • Meet them where they are at
  • Develop football with them
  • Build female leadership/management
  • Develop the best competitions for women.

The journey for CONIFA’s women’s teams and its strategic leadership is just beginning. Follow CONIFA on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all news about the next steps in the women’s teams’ journeys.

Kelly is also supporting Kernow FA as they search for their first ever director of women’s football – find out more about the role and how to apply here.

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By Robin Toal

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