The pride of England has inspired a generation.
As the Lionesses hunted down their trophy and the crowds roared, hopes and dreams for millions of young people suddenly seemed possible. Glass ceilings shattered as the final goal landed safely in the back of the net; a new era has begun.
Dedication, sacrifice and hard work all paid off, and brought our nation together, football fans or not, in saluting the talent of England’s women football players. Some of the best football ever played was on display for all to enjoy as we were enthralled, entertained and elated.
After 56 years without England winning a major footballing championship, it was our women’s team that brought the trophy home. Never again will the women’s game be seen as inferior to that of their male counterparts. Without the scale of investment, they achieved so much more. I am sure lessons are being learnt from this moment in history, or should I say ‘herstory’.
It was not an achievement of one individual, but a team.
Leah Williamson led her team to victory, injecting an ethos to take them all the way to Wembley, and each player stepped up to the challenge and played their part.
If this can be achieved in sport, it can in science, engineering and the creative sectors too. Teamwork is so central for achieving transformation, but everyone must be committed to the collective responsibility to bring about success.
I see this across the city. Where collaborations are built, the outcomes are so much stronger. This is why community is so important, and why everyone should be involved in decision making.
Over the last month in Parliament, I have been making the case for citizens assemblies to form part of the planning process, so local people have a say in the developments in their communities.
With the new York and North Yorkshire Devolution deal signed and now going out to consultation, this can only be the first step in bringing more power to local people, but it cannot stop there. Local people must be seen as essential players in all decision making.
Politics should learn lessons from Sunday’s success.
As the unedifying Tory Party leadership contest drags on through the summer, with ever deeper divisions created, the vying for the top job in politics is no longer seen as being about the efforts of Government, but rests on the personality of one individual.
It is a weak model, and I am not convinced that changing the captain is going to address the multiple challenges our society faces.
We need a new team at the top. Whether it is the NHS crisis, the climate crisis, the cost of living crisis, the rise in crime or fall in wages, the challenges confronting politics, after 12 years of Tory rule (and for five years with the Liberal Democrats too) has brought our nation to its knees.
My observation is this. It is because those in charge are disconnected from the rest of the team.
The Lionesses would never have perfected those passes and tactical moves if each member of the team was not an equal. So it should be in politics. The monopoly of wisdom does not rest in an individual but in bringing together the different voices, hearing and responding accordingly.
This summer, I will be out across York, talking to residents, businesses, community groups and as many people as I can. As I engage with #TeamYork, I see how I depend so much on the incredible role people play across our city, whether through their work, volunteering or active citizenship.
When we pull together, we see transformation; and when we see transformation, we see people’s lives improve.
On Sunday, although we never kicked a ball or coached the players, we were all part of something quite extraordinary.
If we build a new kind of politics where people have a genuine voice and part to play, then the successes that we have are wins for us all.
We have many challenges ahead, and this Government certainly don’t have the solutions. So let us work together to take back control and determine our destiny, each playing their part on your street, in the community or in Parliament.
Working together we can achieve so much more.
If the Women’s Euros meant anything, it meant that the impossible is possible when we reach for the greater goal in collaborating together.