FIFA launched the Live Your Goals campaign to get more young girls and women around the world interested in football and inspire them to get involved and create positive experiences.
Women’s football instils a sense of optimism, fun, belonging and physical health, and today the female side of the sport is not only socially acceptable but extremely well-respected. FIFA.com takes a look back at the initiative’s activities in April.
Estonia: New Live Your Goals campaign launched
The Estonian Football Association (EJL) has named four national team players as ambassadors to coincide with the launch of this year’s Live Your Goals campaign. Captain Kethy Ounpuu (45 caps), goalkeeper Getter Laar (26 caps), defender Inna Zlidnis (39 caps) and Pille Raadik (33 caps) will lend a hand to get even more young girls interested in football.
“Our aim at the Association is to raise the profile of women’s football, to make it popular and engage more players,” said EJL general secretary Anne Rei. “The FIFA Live Your Goals initiative does exactly that and it is a great tool to promote women’s football and to make a worldwide connection. We are grateful that we are able to be a part of it,” added Rei. “Such festivals provide a perfect opportunity for girls to try football and I have to say that they really love the game. It also gives us a way to break down myths and explain why football is a good choice.”
The LYG event in May will be the highlight of Estonia’s Women’s Football Week, which includes Estonia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ qualifier against Spain on 8 May as well as a range of school visits.
Northern Ireland: U-17 National League gets underway
In Northern Ireland, a new U-17 National League has been launched with the support of FIFA’s Women’s Football Development Programme. Six teams will take part in the newly-founded league organised by NIWFA (Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association): Cliftonville Ladies, Crusaders Strikers, Lisburn Ladies, St. Oliver Plunkett, Killen Rangers Ladies and Cumann Spoirt An Phobail. Each team has been provided with training kit, football boots, shinpads, footballs and bibs.
“We are so excited at the prospect of delivering this U-17 National League and we are extremely grateful to FIFA for making it all possible,” said NIWFA chairwoman Sue O’Neill. “The provision of football equipment has been so gratefully received by all the teams and we look forward to a successful summer of football.” Crusaders Strikers posted an emphatic 5-1 win over Cliftonville in the new league’s inaugural game.
In addition to the LYG festivals listed above, events were also held in Ecuador and Paraguay.
May promises to be another busy month for FIFA when it comes to developing women’s football, with festivals scheduled to take place in Moldova, Canada, Solomon Islands, Estonia, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Gambia and Croatia.