Following today’s thrilling 3-1 victory for the Lionesses, a Spanish doctor and an English nurse from a local NHS Trust have put aside their sporting differences to join forces to help women take care of their health.
Sunday will see England and Spain battle it out in the final of the Women’s World Cup and watching the game will be both ward matron Shirley Mealing and emergency medicine consultant Ignacio Cardona.
Shirley’s love of football goes beyond being a spectator – she is a key player in the England over-60s women’s walking football team. Earlier this year, the team lifted the Walking Football Federation European Cup by defeating a strong Wales team.
Shirley said: “The Lionesses have set the most incredible example of hard work, team work and commitment. Win or lose on Sunday, they’ve inspired a generation of women and young girls to believe they can succeed in life.
“But they couldn’t do it without keeping themselves fit and healthy.
”We can’t all be international standard athletes but women can help themselves live happier and healthier lives by regularly checking their breasts and reporting any changes, attending breast screening and cervical smear appointments, being aware of the potential impact of the menopause and reaching out to their GP with any mental health concerns.”
Dr. Ignacio Cardona, who is originally from Spain, said: “Everyone will be watching the match on Sunday, cheering their team on and having fun. But please, if you are celebrating or commiserating, do not drink too much.
“Me and my emergency colleagues are always here to help those in need but we really don’t want to be dealing with drink-related accidents or injuries.
“Enjoy the match with your family and friends, support your team but make sure our emergency department is there for people who need it.”
Shirley and Ignacio’s top tips for women to enjoy some extra time in life
- Blow the whistle on breast cancer by checking your breasts regularly, reporting anything out of the ordinary to your GP and attending your breast examination appointments.
- When menopause strikes, it can have a huge impact. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
- Your mental health matters. Take a team talk with your GP who can refer you to specialists.
- There’s no substitute for a smear test – attend your smear test appointments to kick cervical cancer into touch.
- Avoid injury by not drinking too much alcohol – the recommended amount for both women and men is a maximum of 14 units per week.
- Stay match fit by exercising regularly and enjoying a balanced diet.
- Kick the cigarettes into the back of the net and quit the habit for good.
The two friendly rivals are each hoping their team wins on Sunday but both are united in their message of the importance of improving the health of women in our communities.
The NHS website offers detailed health advice for women.