Youngsters in Miyagi were the latest beneficiaries of FIFA’s Live Your Goals programme with the festival coinciding with the opening day of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012.
Live Your Goals, which aims at developing women’s football across the globe, is an essential part of the legacy programme for Japan. Launched in April, it is a supported by FIFA and is being implemented by the Japan Football Association.
Some 50 young participants took part in Miyagi, as well as 15 coach educators who will be able to develop their own football programmes and festivals in the future.
After some fun and enthusiastic football-related activities the young attendees were taken to Miyagi Stadium where they were able to witness some current local role-models in action, as the Young Nadeshiko overwhelmed Mexico 4-1 in their opening Group A match at Japan 2012.
“I enjoyed it very much,” said one enthused participant of the Live Your Goals event. “We had various kinds of small side games and ball activities. They were all very interesting and I enjoyed it very much. Especially I enjoyed the workshop on shooting. I like football very much but I could not play because we don’t have enough team-mates. So today I could make many new friends and it was very good occasion for me.”
Also on hand to open the festival, one of 20 taking place across Japan, were a number of dignitries including Junji Ogura, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee; Yoshio Okubo President of the Miyagi FA; Eiji Ueda, JFA Women's Committee Chairman and FIFA Instructor Monika Staab.
Participants and local media also witnessed a tree planting ceremony to commemorate the hosting of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and as recognition for the support provided to the local area, with the region being severely hit by last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake.
Energy levels and enthusiasm was also high amongst the coaches in attendance.
“I could learn about the various kinds of training and teaching methods by playing together,” said one local coach after the event. “I’m going to starting up a team in a few months, so I learned many things for that today. I could see many smiles and I’m very happy about it.
“I haven’t been coaching a team for three years and I have been learning by reading text books,” said another coach. “Today I participated in this programme, and now I feel like I could coach a team and touch the ball every day again. I had played in a team with hard training, but today, I found football is essentially fun.”
The FIFA Live Your Goals campaign launched in 2011 for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Germany, with the aim of inspiring women and girls all over the world to participate in football, has also been launched recently in Azerbaijan and Costa Rica.
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