The Lionesses’ record goal scorer Ellen White joined 18 women’s five-a-side teams from across the civil service and public sector this weekend for the inaugural CSSC Duchess of Gloucester Trophy.
Teams from the Department for Education, Land Registry, all branches of the armed forces, police, NHS and more took to the pitch at the FA’s St George’s National Football Centre in Staffordshire to battle it out in a tournament organised by the Civil Service Sports Council and named in honour of their patron.
In a fiery final, Royal Navy Women – hailing from bases from across the UK – beat Goals Aloud – a team made up of teachers and NHS staff from Newcastle – to become the inaugural holders of the Duchess of Gloucester trophy.
West Midlands Police were winners in the plate competition, beating a more experienced RAF Women’s Vets side.
White joined the Duchess of Gloucester on stage to present Royal Navy Women with their prize, and provided tactical tips for the teams as the competition progressed.
She said: “It’s been amazing being here at the Duchess of Gloucester trophy and watching such a high level of competition.
“I’m hugely passionate about growing the women’s game and event like this one, that allow women to bring together a team and just play football, are so important. It’s been great to see over 150 women take to the pitch and the atmosphere has been electric all day. I can’t wait to see how this competition grows in the years to come with CSSC’s support.”
CSSC chief executive Matt Bazeley said: “The success of the Lionesses at last summer’s Euros and the recent FIFA Women's World Cup, has shown us the incredible potential and passion that exists within the women's game. We are delighted to be able to invest in our women’s football and offer for our members and their colleagues and provides the chance for them to take up and continue playing the game with tournaments like today's.
“Thanks to the Duchess of Gloucester and Ellen for joining us, and congratulations to The Royal Navy on being crowned champions. There were some incredible skills on show and we’re looking forward to growing the tournament in the years to come. “
CSSC is a not-for-profit membership organisation which aims to support public sector workers and their families to enjoy active and healthy lifestyles.