About Scottish Women’s Football
SWF owns and is responsible for the management of the following competitions:
- SWPL – Scottish Women’s Premier League
- SWPL Cup
- SWFL – Scottish Women’s Football League
- SWFL Cup
- Scottish Cup
- Youth Regional League Cups
- Youth League
- Scottish Youth Cups
This is an exciting time for women and girls football. One of the fastest growing sports globally, we now have 8,230 players registered to play in Scotland across 249 clubs:
- Youth players U13-U17 – 3,528
- Senior players – 4,702
- 68 senior clubs
- 181 youth clubs
The Scottish international team achieved their highest FIFA Women’s World Ranking of 20th recently and are currently ranked 11th in Europe. Glasgow City FC, in the SWPL, reached the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions league in season 2014/2015. The first ever Scottish football club to do so.
The National under 17s and under 19s (where all squad players play for Scottish clubs) have all qualified for the Elite Rounds of their Euro Championship campaigns.
The SWF Board
Name: Vivienne MacLaren
Vivienne joined the SWF board in June 2014 as media and communications director and led the re-brand and re-launch of SWF competitions as well as growth of awareness of SWF in order to attract the organisation’s first commercial partners.
She was appointed Chair in October 2016. An avid supporter of women’s football for over 20 years Vivienne is honoured to be part of the SWF board and is determined to play her part in raising the profile of the game further, as well as playing a key role in growing player numbers.
In her day job, Vivienne is an award-winning marketing and communications strategist with a propensity for digital marketing. With 20 years’ industry experience, she has cultivated significant perspective working across both client and agency sides in Scotland and London.
Having held senior positions in leading UK communications and digital agencies, in 2007 Vivienne founded one of Scotland’s first dedicated digital marketing agencies.
Well known for her passion for sport she is often seen at sporting events and still plays hockey for her local club in Glasgow’s South Side. She can’t wait for the EUROS to start.
Name: Gavin Michie
Role: Finance Director
Gavin’s MA in Accountancy from the University of Aberdeen gives him key corporate and financial credentials which together with his knowledge of organizational change make him a strong candidate for this role.
His professional background has covered:
- Work as Independent Management Consultant
- Business finance and start up
- Accounting advice
- Business change, financial forecasting and budgeting
- Management Accounting
He is experienced in many aspects of Scottish Women’s Football from coaching children, youth and adults to representation on LMCs, Regional Committees, Disciplinary Committees and SWF Board.
He has successfully supported the development and growth of the game in the South East Region and nationally. He founded Boroughmuir Thistle FC in 2007 now the largest girls and women’s club in South East with over 180 players and complete pathway from 6 years to adult (SWFL).
He has greatly committed to achieving sustainable growth and increased performance levels: locally, nationally and internationally.He has been part of the Board since 2016 and his ability to take a strategic view and manage and deliver by objectives and results makes him the ideal candidate to provide some continuity from a business point of view in the coming transition period.
Name: Justine Mitchell
Role: Commercial Director
Justine is a qualified lawyer having graduated in 1991 and went on to practice in litigation before moving into employment law. Justine became a partner at the age of 30 and continued in the legal environment until 2005 when she retired from law to pursue other interests – including property redevelopment. This led to her establishing the award-winning Chamomile Sanctuary, day spa, in 2010, which is now firmly established within Edinburgh as a luxury beauty destination.
Justine is passionate about Dundee United Football Club having been a supporter for more than 30 years and is now in the privileged position of being co-owner. She was also a Director from 2013 to 2016 advising on commercial, HR and community matters.
She is a former Council Member of the Scottish FA and now a member of the Scottish FA Congress. She also sits on its Judicial Panel.
Justine launched the Dundee United Women’s Football Club in 2015 and is now its Chair. She currently sits as a Director of the Scottish Women’s Football Board and is a Trustee of United For All, Dundee United’s Community Trust.
Name: Anne Mckeown
Role: Legal Director
Anne McKeown has been a practising solicitor for 20 years and is a partner with the firm of Thorntons. Away from the office, Anne has over the course of the last 10 years, devoted much of her spare time to football. She is a Director of Arbroath Football Club and was on the board of the Scottish Football League through the reconstruction process. In addition to sitting on the Board of Scottish Womens Football, Anne is in her second year of a four year appointment as Scotland’s representative on the UEFA Womens Football Committee and a member of the Scottish FA Licensing Committee.
Name: Karen Birch
Role: Media & Communications Director
Karen is an entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in creating and supporting enterprise and is actively involved in many groups seeking to promote equality and diversity.
Currently Managing Director at the3rdimagazine, an on-line publication championing women’s achievements, her career has spanned a multitude of high level positions, including: Director General of the Scottish Biomedical Association, consultant to Scottish Enterprise local agencies, advisor to Scottish Parliament on strategic e-commerce and various senior positions in entrepreneurial business start-ups. An experienced non-executive director, Karen has held positions with Co-operative Development Scotland and Glasgow Women’s Aid and is currently Chair at Glasgow Women’s Library and a member of the BBC Trust Audience Council for Scotland.
Karen has a degree in Zoology from Sheffield University and MBA from North Staffordshire University. She is a gallery artist and meditation teacher and recently completed a 400 mile walk around Scotland in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Name: Karen McGowan
Role: Perform & Win Director
Karen has been involved in football for over 40 years in a variety of roles and has a passion for the game at all levels. She played for many years before undertaking her SFA coaching qualifications. She was a founder member of both Leith Athletic Girls and Hibs Girls where she coached all age groups up to U17’s level. She also coached for many years at SFA Development, Regional and Elite Squads in Edinburgh and the East of Scotland.
Karen has a BA in Community Education and a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute. She has worked in public service for over 30 years in a variety of roles within Education Services, and has extensive experience of working with children, young people, adults and communities in the most disadvantaged communities and currently manages the Lifelong Learning and Employability Service for Adults and Families within Midlothian Council.
Karen is a passionate Hibs supporter and season ticket holder and was a member of the Working Together Group which develops the links between the club and its fan base. She also volunteers for St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association as a first aider.
Karen has been on the SWF Board since 2015 where she has chaired the Perform and Win Committee (Senior League Management Committee) and is also a member of the Policy Working Group. She has a passion for developing the game in Scotland so that girls and women have opportunities to play at all levels and our most talented players have player pathways which support them to progress and be the best they can be.
Name: Fiona Cardwell
Role: Strong Quality Growth Director
Fiona is an experienced sports professional having graduated in 2005 from Stirling University with a BA (hons) degree in Sport & Media. Fiona spent seven years in Aberdeen working as the Events Manager at Aberdeen Sports Village where she was responsible for procuring and managing national and international events. These events included the Scottish Women’s A Team Challenge Match v Cameroon in 2012 and UEFA Women’s Under 17 Tournament in 2013. Fiona is now based in Glasgow working in sports development for Glasgow Sport and has an abundance of experience in sports development and management making her the ideal candidate for the Strong Quality Growth role.
Fiona has been on the SWF Board since June 2014 and has taken on a number of additional roles including SWF Congress representative, SWF Non-Professional Game Board representative and continues to cover the vacant Football Policy Director role in addition to her designated Strong Quality Growth duties. She strives to continue her own personal development and use that learning to the benefit of SWF – this is illustrated by her completion of SFA-led Institute of Leadership and Management Courses in 2013 and 2014 and her current participation in the UEFA Certificate in Football Management course.
On a personal note, Fiona is a former football player and spent her youth career at Kilmarnock before representing Stirling & Scottish Universities from 2001-2005. Fiona enjoyed 6 years at Aberdeen FC before retiring from football in 2012 following a career-ending injury. Her passion for the game is what drives her to contribute to SWF and she is highly driven to ensure the organisation’s continued development.
Positions Vacant – Business Strategy Director & Football Policy Director