A capacity-building seminar was held in Doha on 27 and 28 September
The workshop was designed for women: 40 female teachers took part
A trio of FIFA women’s football experts joined, pooling their experience and expertise
"2023 will be a year of consolidating achievements and strengthening the monitoring and evaluation system". This announcement by Fatimata Sidibe, Director of Football for Schools (F4S) last December at the end of an eventful 2022 year followed the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, during which F4S had a dedicated space at the 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum in Doha.
"Capacity-building" was the theme of the Football for Schools seminar held in Doha on 27 and 28 September, almost ten months after the World Cup adventure. It was a workshop designed exclusively for women, all of whom are physical education teachers. Once again, thousands of children will benefit from their training. The Generation Amazing Foundation, Qatar Foundation, Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education all joined in the project, which was piloted by Football for Schools and FIFA. Spread over two days, the seminar offered a unique opportunity for educators to improve their skills, and the chance to become spokespersons for positive change in their respective regions of the country.
The workshop covered various aspects of the Football for Schools Programme which aims to make football more accessible to young people by incorporating football activities into the education system. On the menu: coaching techniques, integration of life skills and use of the 'F4S' digital app. It was also an opportunity for women from all walks of life to get together, exchange ideas and learn from each other's experiences of football. "This is an important step towards closing the gender gap in sport, thanks to the FIFA Football for Schools programme," explains Fatimata Sidibe. "Together with our partners, we see this seminar as a door-opener for women in the field of sports development, which we sincerely hope this kind of opportunity will multiply."
Among the speakers in Doha were Antonio Buenaño Sánchez, FIFA Football for Schools Manager, and a trio of women's football experts with a huge amount of experience: Sue Ronan Martin, Anouschka Bernhard and Thuba Sibanda, the fruit of a collaboration between F4S and the FIFA Women's Football Division. To make matters even more exciting, the event was held at Education City Stadium, ensuring a tangible World Cup flavour was in the air.
"The Qatari government allocated the stadium exclusively to women who want to play football, allowing women and girls to practice their sport in complete peace of mind," explained Alexandra Chalat, who in charge of World Cup Legacy at the Qatar Foundation. "These types of workshops, training programmes and events are exactly what we aspire to offer at Education City Stadium. This spectacular venue is becoming a dedicated centre for women's sport in Qatar, as part of the legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar," added Abeer Al-Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education at the Qatar Foundation.
The event was part of a memorandum of understanding between FIFA, Generation Amazing, and the Qatar Foundation that included initiatives around youth and community empowerment, well beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Speaking after the signing, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “To be able to positively impact society through the power of football is a shared goal and responsibility between each of our organisations. Using sport to reach the next generation is something all three places at the forefront of everything they do. We look forward to working together over the coming months and years in many common projects, and particularly to deliver Football for Schools in Qatar.” By designing this seminar exclusively for women, the aim was to support female teachers capable of inspiring the next generation. We're sure that goal has been achieved.