FAW Commemorates International Women’s Day 2024

International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked annually on March 8th and aims to support and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. To commemorate this day the FAW is celebrating the achievements of women from all corners of football who inspire and work tirelessly to make the game a better place for women in Wales.

The International Women’s Day campaign theme for 2024 is #InspireInclusion. The FAW acknowledge how important it is to make football an inclusive place for women and are dedicated to supporting women to succeed at all levels.

In a FAW video commemorating International Women’s Day, several Welsh trailblazers feature detailing their inspirations across the game. 

Be inspired by their stories: 

Laura McAllister

A former Cymru captain with 24 caps Laura has been a trailblazer for women across Wales. 2023 saw her make history when she became the first Welsh person and woman to be elected to UEFA’s executive committee. This has allowed her to be a powerful voice for Wales and women at one of the top tables of football. McAllister was also the first woman to be appointed as a Vice President, breaking down another barrier for women across Europe.

Sioned Dafydd

Sioned is a football reporter and presenter for S4C and is well known amongst football fans as she is most often found presenting on Sgorio. She has previously worked for the BBC and presented on Swans TV.  Sioned played a big part in S4C’s coverage of the World Cup in 2022 conducting interviews with the biggest stars in football. She is a visible role model for women and girls across Wales both watching sport and looking to progress into the media industry.

Elise Hughes

Making her Cymru debut at just 17 years old, Elise Hughes is an inspiration for women and girls across Wales. She plays for Crystal Palace and is the current top scorer in the Women’s Championship with 14 goals to her name this season so far. An excellent role model Elise coaches in the boy’s academy at Crystal Palace in addition to her training. Keen to inspire the next generation, Hughes and her Cymru teammates funded buses for players from the Nomads Player Development Centre to come down and watch Cymru play Iceland in December. A true inspiration to young girls she is determined to ensure no girl misses out on the opportunity to watch their heroes play!

Olivia Francis

The future of Cymru, Olivia Francis has gone from playing in the Adran Leagues to featuring for Man United women in the FA Cup in under a year! At just 17 years old she made the move to Man United U21s after being awarded Genero Adran Premier Young Player of the Season in the 2023/2023 campaign. A credit to the FAW’s Player Development Pathway, the striker captains the U19s and recently received her first call-up to the senior squad proving to be a role model and inspiration to young girls wanting to follow in her footsteps.

Cheryl Foster

Another former Cymru player, Cheryl Foster has played a key part in representing Wales on the World Stage when she became Wales’ first World Cup referee in 45 years at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Before this, she was the first Welsh woman to referee a major tournament at the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 and was included in the match officials for the 2023 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final! Aside from refereeing weekly, Cheryl works as a PE teacher in Chester and plays an integral part in the Adran Leagues Referee Academy, an initiative dedicated to helping women and girls in Wales to develop and train as match officials.

Rosheen & Eleeza

A trailblazing duo from Grangetown, sisters Rosheen and Eleeza Khan are Wales’ first Muslim women referees determined to change the narrative for girls. Outside of full-time education, Rosheen and Eleeza play an integral part in their community providing girls in their local area the opportunities to take part in football. 2023 saw the pair representing Wales at the UEFA 2028 bid alongside Gareth Bale where they became the first women to wear a hijab on UEFA’s stage, breaking down barriers for women across the world.

Bethan Bushen

Bethan coaches at Caerphilly Castle Ladies and Girls FC, a club she has been at for 15 years now having previously been a player. She juggles a full-time job as a web designer with coaching 6/7 days of the week. In 2023 her hard work and dedication were recognised as she was awarded Community Coach of the Year at the FAW McDonald’s Grassroots Awards, a category which received over 700 nominations! Bethan also took part in the second year of the BE. Football Mentoring Programme, an FAW initiative dedicated to helping women progress into the football industry. She is determined to keep on improving the game for young girls in Wales.

Rosie Hughes

Rosie has netted 13 goals in 12 games for Wrexham in their first season in the Genero Adran Premier, making her the current leading goalscorer. Aside from the commitment of playing semi-professional football she juggles a full-time job as a prison officer at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham. Her passion and energy is contagious shown through her involvement in the “Welcome to Wrexham” documentary. Rosie has become a clear role model to young girls and continues to play an integral part in Wrexham’s journey. 

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a Welsh legend on and off the pitch. During her playing career, Helen earned 105 international caps and scored 44 goals, more than any other Cymru player man or woman. In the later years of her career, Helen juggled being a full-time Mum with playing football at the highest level and was keen to inspire and show women you can be both. Helen was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2023 and she continues making waves as a pundit, presenter, and general manager of Watford Women. Most recently, she joined the Cymru women’s squad as a coach.


Learn more on how the FAW will fulfil its mission to create the best environment, support structures and opportunities to accelerate the growth of women’s football in the 2026 Strategy, “Our Wales: For Her”.

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