More and more young girls around the world are playing football. With its 'Live Your Goals' campaign, FIFA is seeking to get even more young girls and women interested in football and encourage them to play the game themselves and gain positive experience in the process.
FIFA.com takes a look at the campaign’s activities in November, focusing on festivals in Japan and Costa Rica, hosts of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014.
Japan: Seizing opportunities
To ensure that the legacy of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 endures, an additional LYG festival took place in Japan between 2-4 November. Here, participants enjoyed three days full of events and learned football skills from former players from the Nadeshiko League and Japanese national team, such as Tomomi Miyamoto. “I’m very happy to see girls enjoying football. I felt you were rather shy. I want to encourage you to challenge yourselves and enjoy [the game] much more actively and aggressively. You are so lucky to get this kind of excellent opportunity and also to meet a lot of football friends from all over Japan,” said Miyamoto when addressing the young girls attending the festival. She also emphasised the importance of such festivals: “It never happened when I was at junior high school and I envy you a lot. Please actively enjoy and learn about football and touch the ball often to be good players."
Costa Rica: 'Costa Rica opens its arms to the world'
From 15 March to 5 April 2014, the world’s girls’ football players will be in the spotlight as Costa Rica hosts the fourth FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup under the motto 'Costa Rica abre sus alas al mundo' ('Costa Rica opens its arms to the world'). In order to promote girls’ football in Costa Rica and encourage more girls to take up football, another 'Live Your Goals' festival was organised and staged in the World Cup host nation. Around 200 girls between the ages of six and 12 took part in the event and enjoyed it to the full. Twenty local and regional coaches put these promising young footballers through their paces on a pitch divided into eight different areas.
Further festivals around the world
November was an extremely busy month for FIFA when it came to developing women’s football. In addition to those already mentioned, additional Live Your Goals festivals also took place in Samoa, Vanuatu, Montenegro, Chinese Taipei and Papua New Guinea.