‘There are more opportunities for women in sport now’
My name is Lucy Durham, I am 21 years old and I am from Oxford. I am a midfielder and I play for Kidlington in Oxford, at the University of Bath and also for England Deaf Women’s team.
I have been deaf since the day I was born but I do not really face any challenges on a daily basis. When I am playing for England Deaf, there is the communication issue because we can’t hear each other when we have our hearing aids out so it does make it a little bit more difficult but we have strategies in place to prevent it being too much of a problem.
I started playing football because my family introduced me to the sport but I was kicking a ball around from when I first started walking. So I had an interest in football from an early age as I just wanted to play with a ball and then I started playing properly when I was around the age of four and then joined a proper club around the age of five.
My grandad and my family inspired me to play football. They have always been so supportive with everything I have done in football, taking me up and down the country.
My favourite football memories would be when I have won a trophy or a cup. I won a bronze medal at the Deaf World Cup in 2016 and won the award for the Deaf Champions League’s best young player in 2018. I have also won Oxfordshire league and county cups and the Southern Region Premier League Cup. I have also played in some amazing grounds. Not only at St. George’s Park with England but I have also been up and down the country playing at the likes of London Bees, Southampton and MK Dons.
I got involved with England after they approached me while I was playing a game for another team. They approached me on the sidelines when I was 14 and I joined the England Women’s team, so I have been involved with England for quite a long time now. I was one of the youngest players to play for England Deaf but with more people speaking about deaf women’s sport, it is great to see more people becoming interested.
It is an absolute honour to represent England. I am looking forward to our future because we have so many tournaments ahead of us, we have a really great team and it is an absolute honour to represent the country.
My advice to any girl or woman who wants to start playing football would be to just enjoy the game. That is the main thing about football. Enjoy being a part of the sport and you get to meet so many people through playing sport.
There are more opportunities for women in sport now so we must take advantage of them, as I believe sport and in particular football made me who I am today.
My goal for 2022 is to become the best footballer I can be and keep enjoying my football. After I finish my degree at the University of Bath, I also want to get a career within football or sports events and development. And as a team, we obviously want to win medals and hopefully a gold medal!
Find out more about International Women's Day here and you can find disability football in your area via EnglandFootball.com.