The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI), is excited to announce that it has become the principle sponsor of Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club for the next three years until 2021. The sponsorship forms just the beginning of a concerted drive by the institute to introduce girls and young women to its industry, and for a vocational career within KBB installation. The sponsorship announcement is timed perfectly to coincide with the opening of the BiKBBI’s Approved Training Facility and the Apprenticeship launch at PROCAT in September.
BiKBBI has identified the sponsorship of Charlton Athletic Womens FC due to the synergy between the two organisations and women’s football in general. BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters explains, “There has been a seismic shift in the last few years of the general acceptance of women in trades that have traditionally been the domain of blokes like general building and plumbing. This change of attitude has been most identifiable in sport, with a much ‘levelling of the playing field.” For example, the FA (Football Association) has made huge strides in creating opportunities for women and girls to play our national sport; so much so, that football is now officially the biggest female team sport in England with almost 150,000 players competing in affiliated league and cup competitions. This represents a percentage increase of a whopping 1,425% in the last 15 years (there were just 10,400 participants in 1993 when records began).”
Founded in 1905. Charlton Athletic is an English football institution and has had many glorious moments in its history, none more so than winning the FA cup. Its Women’s team forms an integral part of the club’s community strategy and was founded in 1991.
CAWFC is an FA Charter Standard Club and an FA Girls Regional Talent Club. The club comprises two Women’s Teams (First and Development) and four junior teams (Under 10/12/14/16) involving literally hundreds of girls and young women throughout the London and surrounding areas, especially South East London where the club is based. The First team play in the FA Women’s Championship, the 2nd highest league in women’s football. They also compete in the FA Cup and the FA Continental (League) Cup.
Damian comments, “This is no ordinary sponsorship deal. Our industry needs to attract the next generation of installers and this should be inclusive with a fair representation from women. The BiKBBI has welcomed its first female members in the last few years but in all honesty, we are only scratching the surface so far, because the growth potential is vast as women can massively help narrow the current skills shortage. Hence the sponsorship of Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club, which is a strategic decision to run concurrently with our drive to attract female apprentices to the recently launched BiKBBI devised and approved apprenticeship initiative.”
To underline the massive growth potential of women’s football and therefore the extended reach of the BiKBBI to potential female apprentices/members, it is estimated that over 1.1 million girls play kick-about football and the sport, just like the BiKBBI, is determined to break down barriers. For example, women and girls from some ethnic communities remain unaware of the opportunities which exist, and there are cultural, religious and social norms to overcome. The same applies to disabled women and girls. Organised sport, especially football, is possibly the quickest and easiest way to create awareness of these opportunities through its ‘togetherness.’
The FA states that involvement of females in football also extends beyond playing as it wants to increase the number of female coaches, referees and administrators as it underpins its work, especially as there are other key messages, stating, “Football is fun, it improves self-esteem, creates new friendships, and like all sport, it plays a key role in combating obesity, particularly in teenagers.” Perhaps, more importantly, as far as the BiKBBI is concerned, women’s football and sport in general provides an opportunity to close the skills gap by expanding the career possibilities to potential future generations of KBB installers.
Women’s General Manager Steve Adamson said “We are very excited to have signed a three-year deal with BiKBBI, a company which shares so many of the same values as the club. As soon as we started talking to BiKBBI, it was clear that we were talking with a partner who wants to be involved and improve the women’s game, and I’m proud that this partnership is going to be a lot more than what is seen on the football pitch.”
“We have a tough season ahead and we can’t wait to welcome members of BiKBBI as well as many other fans down The Oakwood to cheer on Charlton Athletic.”
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