Live Your Goals visits Tahiti, India, plus Malta for IWD

While qualification for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio de Janeiro 2016 and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 grabbed the headlines in March, numerous Live Your Goals festivals were once again held to give young girls their first taste of the beautiful game and perhaps inspire them to feature in qualifiers themselves one day. looks back at the past month’s activities.

India: Another step in the right direction

On 6 March the All India Football Federation (AIFF) held an LYG festival in Delhi that attracted more than 100 young girls between the ages of six and 12, all keen to demonstrate their talent. The attendees came from local schools and clubs and were invited to attend by the AIFF.

Twenty-five coaches who previously completed a grassroots course helped to organise the festival, while there were also opportunities for parents to get involved. FIFA’s grassroots programme helps member associations to set up their own development programmes and activities, preparing coaches and instructors for the specific requirements of grassroots training for boys and girls aged between six and 12. The programme also involves organising football festivals for children. The next LYG event is set to take place in April.

Malta: 'The best part of the festival? The football!'

What date could be better for holding an LYG festival than International Women’s Day? The Malta Football Association (MFA) clearly shared this view and did exactly this on 8 March, with the aim of encouraging the continuing development of women’s football from an early age. A total of 190 schoolgirls were schooled in the art of the beautiful game under the watchful eye of qualified coaches and international players.

The festival helps to familiarise more youngsters with the sport in a country where just four per cent of young girls are enrolled in children's football activities. The MFA are hoping to use fun and play to inspire more girls to play the game and encourage them to stick with it. At the end of the day, the feedback could hardly have been more positive, ranging from “That was an incredible day out,” to “The best part of the festival? The football!” The girls’ teachers were also impressed with the professional organisation of the event.

Tahiti: Our motto is to have fun!

LYG festivals are also helping to increase the popularity of women’s football in Tahiti. On 12 March an event was held for six- to 12-year-olds at the Tahitian Football Federation (FTF)’s technical centre under the slogan ‘Have fun’.

The Federation’s head of women’s football Celine Haapue, Tahiti U-17 national team coach Ludovic Graugnard and numerous volunteers helped to make this festival of football an unforgettable experience for all those present. Sixteen workshops were on offer, each one focused on teaching a different element of the beautiful game in an entertaining way. The message for the girls was clear: the future belongs to you, and you must live your goals!

Other festivals

In addition to the events highlighted above, festivals were also held in Spain, Belgium and Slovenia.