Get to Know Louisville’s All-Women Supporters Group

Photo credit: LouCity Ladies

It all started when a small group of women had an idea to do something bigger than themselves.

“In the early days, we didn’t really know one another,” shared Michele Wilkinson, President and Founding Member of the LouCity Ladies. “The main reason we became friends was because we kept seeing the same familiar faces at tailgates.”

The initial group of about 10 women were already coming to Louisville City FC matches with their families and spouses. Over time, they naturally gravitated toward one another and found a shared love for soccer and community.”

Today, that love for the game and community has grown into one of Louisville’s leading supporters’ groups – the LouCity Ladies.

Established in 2018, the LouCity Ladies are an all-women, trans-women, and femme membership group for both Racing Louisville and Louisville City FC. They give women a platform to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns about not only the soccer community but the Louisville community as well.

What started as a way to strengthen the bonds among likeminded soccer fans has now evolved into something much bigger than the sport.

Community leadership and social change is at the forefront of everything they do. While you’ll rarely hear them boast about their efforts, charity and volunteerism is actually built into their bylaws.

As Michele shared, “It’s why the LouCity Ladies supporters group was created. Of course we love our teams, but we also love our city and want to have a positive impact outside of soccer.”

On their website, you’ll find a host of nonprofit organizations the group has already worked with. And that list continues to grow thanks to the creativity of its members.

Most recently, the group partnered with Racing Louisville star Yuki Nagasato to donate $460 to the Fund for the Arts through the now-infamous #DatAss fundraising campaign.

They also worked with the USL Black Players Alliance to create a Black Lives Matter scarf that helped raise nearly $1,700 for the Louisville Urban League and Center for Neighborhoods.

On gamedays, you’ll find members of the LouCity Ladies sprinkled throughout the stadium. Why not all together, you ask? That’s because of the inclusive culture the LouCity Ladies have built.

“We have a wide mix of members that are part of the LouCity Ladies,” explained Michele. “Some of our members love to stand in the front row leading the chants with the other supporters groups, while others are new to the game of soccer and prefer to sit elsewhere. It’s important that our group allows for all types of fandom.”

The LouCity Ladies leadership worked with the front office so that they could become the only official supporters group that has permission to sit outside of a dedicated supporter’s section. And even though they may not be next to one another, they are always connected.

During matches, Michele and the leadership group know where all the members are sitting. So if any individual is faced with a problem or feels uncomfortable, they know to send a direct message to the group through one of the LouCity Ladies social media channels. In the event someone feels unsafe or needs help, one of the members monitoring the messages will send support within minutes.

As Michele said, “We want everyone to feel safe during games. No matter if you’ve been a soccer fan for a long time or you have never been to a Louisville match, we are here for you.”