As the Wales senior women’s international team prepared for a Women's World Cup qualifier against England in the Cardiff City Stadium, over 100 girls between the ages of 6 and 11 gathered a stone’s throw away to start their journey as footballers.
These girls were given a flavour of things to come through the FIFA LIVE YOUR GOALS campaign, an initiative delivered in conjunction with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Welsh Football Trust.
Following the official launch of the campaign, a total of six festivals will be organised across Wales this year. It is hoped that the campaign will grow over a four-year period with a minimum of 4,400 new participants being introduced to the game. The campaign will also provide a platform to train 240 new female coaches with international players acting as ambassadors for girls’ football.
Trefor Lloyd Hughes, President of the FAW, said: “The LIVE YOUR GOALS campaign is a fantastic opportunity to introduce more young girls to football in a community setting. Girls will have an opportunity to enjoy the game in a safe and informal environment. We hope to create a carnival atmosphere through use of music and entertainment and make it a celebration of football.”
Trisha Turner, Welsh Premier Women’s League Representative and Council Member of the FAW, believed the launch of the campaign was a huge success:
“We had a fantastic turnout prior to the Women’s World Cup Qualifier. The main goal was to ensure that girls from a young age had a positive experience of football. It was fantastic that they then had an opportunity to watch an international fixture across the road in the Cardiff City Stadium.”
Welsh international Gwennan Harries added: “I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play football at a young age. LIVE YOUR GOALS is about introducing young girls to the game and providing them with that opportunity. It’s fantastic to see the girls running around with smiles on their faces. Maybe we’ll see some of these girls representing Wales one day.”
The first LIVE YOUR GOALS festival will be held in Newtown FC on the 10 October. A further five festivals will be organised across Wales during October and November. For further information, please contact Jamie Clewer – Jamie@welshfootballtrust.org.uk.