(Reuters) - Newly crowned women's European champions England wrote an open letter to the next British Prime Minister on Wednesday calling for more opportunities for girls to play football in schools, saying the women's game still has a long way to go.
In a letter addressed to PM hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the team wrote that they had discussed their legacy and goal to inspire the nation.
"Many will think that this has already been achieved, but we see this as only the beginning," wrote the team, who won the Euros following a 2-1 extra time win over Germany on Sunday.
"We are looking to the future. We want to create real change in this country and we are asking you, if you were to become Prime Minister on Sept. 5, to help us achieve that change.
"We want every young girl in the nation to be able to play football at school."
The team said that currently only 63% of girls can play football during PE lessons.
"The reality is we are inspiring young girls to play football, only for many to end up going to school and not being able to play," the team added.
"This is something that we all experienced growing up. We were often stopped from playing. So we made our own teams, we travelled across the country and despite the odds, we kept playing football.
"Women's football has come a long way. But it still has a long way to go. We ask you and your government to ensure that all girls have access to a minimum of two hours a week PE."
The team also called for greater investment and support for PE teachers.
"We have made incredible strides in the women's game, but this generation of school girls deserve more," they said.
"They deserve to play football at lunchtime, they deserve to play football in PE lessons and they deserve to believe they can one day play for England. We want their dreams to also come true."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)