Rosie Jones visits West Ham United Women

Rosie Jones and Mark McAdam with Women's assistant manager Paul Konchesky

Rosie Jones and Mark McAdam with Women's assistant manager Paul Konchesky - Credit: Griffiths Photographers

Three of West Ham United’s 12 Days of Christmas community drive saw comedian and actress Rosie Jones and Sky Sports presenter Mark McAdam visit the Women’s team’s training base at Chadwell Heath for the finale of Sky Sports series I’m Game.

The 12 Days of Christmas initiative - which started on December 13 and runs until Christmas Eve - marks the third anniversary of the Players’ Project, the ground-breaking concept where players from the club’s men’s, women’s and Academy teams pledge their time to help local people and good causes.

Jones' visit - before COVID restrictions were tightened – was filmed in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which provides visibility and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, becoming a symbol of inclusion across sport.

Jones, who is a lesbian, helped to put West Ham United Women through their paces as she joined the coaching team for the day and discovered the strength of teamwork and togetherness at the club.

The day began with the comedian, who has cerebral palsy and regularly speaks on out the rights of disabled people and sexuality during her appearances on television and radio shows, podcasts and in interviews, being given her own personalised training gear by West Ham United Women's general manager Aidan Boxall.

Olympic gold medallist Adriana Leon then gave Jones a very special present – a pair of pinks boots that the Canadian had worn at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

After a quick tour of the training facility, the cameras followed Jones and McAdam through to meet some of the squad who were enjoying some downtime with head of performance and well-being Jenny Coe.

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Jones spoke with Olli Harder and Paul Konchesky about the importance of inclusivity within football, regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation. 

Speaking during her visit to Chadwell Heath, Jones said: “As a comedian with a disability, I don’t get asked to do anything remotely around sport. When I was asked to come over, I was so excited and so keen to muck in.

“As a queer person myself, I have felt very welcomed today. I know from my experiences, truly accepting every part of you takes time and it’s still an ongoing process. Whoever you are, you’ll get there and one day you’ll be able to live and love as your true, authentic self.”

West Ham United has been awarded the Premier League’s Equality Standard Advanced level, recognising the club’s ongoing dedication and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).