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Club News

Meet Sophie Barber, our Port Vale #HerGameToo Ambassador

3 March 2023

Club News

Meet Sophie Barber, our Port Vale #HerGameToo Ambassador

3 March 2023

Find out more about our #HerGameToo Ambassador, Sophie Barber!

  • Saturday's League One fixture between Port Vale and MK Dons is dedicated to supporting #HerGameToo ahead of International Women's Day
  • Sophie Barber has been Port Vale FC and Port Vale Supporters' Club's official #HerGameToo Ambassador since March 2022
  • Contact Sophie on Twitter @HGTxPVFC

Tell us a little bit about your Port Vale journey? How long you have been a supporter and when did you first come to Vale Park? 

My Dad first took me to Vale Park in 1994 vs Millwall, when Steve Guppy made his debut and we won 2-1 with a last-minute Mark Burke goal and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the old and new Wembley watching the Vale, as well as what was known as the Millennium Stadium for the LDV final in 2001. Currently and over the years I have been a season ticket holder at Vale and go to most away fixtures.  

When did you first get involved with #HerGameToo? 

I followed #HerGameToo from when it began and was delighted when I was approached by Port Vale Supporters Club in March 2022 regarding getting involved with the campaign with them. I was interviewed by the lead team of #HerGameToo and awarded the position of Ambassador and announced as the Port Vale #HerGameToo Ambassador in- line with International Womens Day 2022, so have been a part of the campaign for 12 months now. Most recently, my sister Emily has become an Advocate with the team so we can help each other to help the club, fans and campaign.

Tell us a little bit about #HerGameToo? 

#HerGameToo is a campaign that was set up by female fans from across the country to tackle sexism in football. The campaign began in May 2021 and has gone from strength to strength, so far partnering with over 60 clubs in the Premier League and EFL alone: without counting our non-league, grassroots and women’s teams as well as teams internationally. Additionally, in partnership with We Love Sport, there are now multiple #HerGameToo supported pubs and bars across the UK which aim to ensure a safe space for women to watch live sport, with trained staff in these establishments and a reporting system available. A proud achievement for the campaign is winning the Best in Women’s Football category at the Football Content Awards 2022. The campaign continues to grow and achieve and has an ever-growing team of directors, ambassadors, advocates and player advocates and other background team members. 

Clearly there is a still long way to go, but how much of an impact has the success of the Lionesses and the work of #HerGameToo helped to increase Women and Girls’ participation in the game? 

Many women and girls across the country have been inspired by the success of the Lionesses. We as a campaign are being sent more and more content from women and girls' fans and teams and it’s very exciting to see. The Lionesses have given women and girls of all ages the confidence to get involved with football, by showing that it can be done and done well. We as a campaign are excited to see the continuous success of The Lionesses and the inspiration and positivity around women in football that it instils.

What are you looking to do at Vale Park in the coming weeks and months to ensure the voices of female supporters are heard?

I think Vale Park has always been a welcoming and inclusive place to be, which can be seen more recently from the top down. We have a reporting number in place that can be used to report abuse and inappropriate behaviour within the ground and the club investigate and take all reports seriously. The staff are very approachable and proactive which makes it easier to report any incidents and issues which are brought to me. The club are always open to discuss ways in which improvements can be made to make the matchday experience better for fans, and with that I have been able to have discussions with the club and Supporters Club about how we can create a dedicated female forum alongside the Supporters Club. If anyone has anything they would like to bring forward or would be interested in getting involved with a female supporter's group, they can privately message the Twitter account @HGTxPVFC or speak to me if you see me at any games.

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