Saturday, 23 May served as Women’s Football Day for the CONCACAF region and 37 member associations took part in a variety of activities, ranging from grassroots football festivals and tournaments, to community events featuring several players bound for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, to joint events promoting football as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and much more.
Member associations took to social media to share their experiences from around the CONCACAF zone and it is clear the young girls and women who participated in Women’s Football Day thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are ready to prosper as the women’s game continues to grow and thrive throughout North and Central America and the Caribbean.
“It is crucial for CONCACAF to continue the advancement of women’s football while developing grassroots programs and continue achieving major victories,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb about Women’s Football Day. “My vision was and remains the same - that every man, woman and child passionate about football has the opportunity to access our beautiful game and develop their skills in order to reinforce CONCACAF’s position in the global arena.”
FIFA.com takes a look at a few of the events from this historic day, including the activities held by the region’s three teams participating in the Women’s World Cup in less than two weeks.
As part of a week-long initiative across the United States, US Soccer hosted a series of events featuring members of the USA squad heading to Canada 2015 reaching back to their respective communities to inspire women and girls to achieve their goals, no matter what they may be. As examples, Seattle Reign stalwarts Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe spoke with youth soccer clubs atop the Space Needle in Seattle, while Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan visited a children’s hospital in Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Canada hosted its final Live Your Goals event in Vancouver where more than 300 girls turned out to the beautiful Trillium Park.
And a bit further south, Mexico – the third team from CONCACAF competing at this summer’s Women’s World Cup – also gathered their squad to celebrate Women’s Football Day. Their senior squad was training while a grassroots festival for young girls was simultaneously taking place. Mexico will begin their Live Your Goals events next week on 29 May where more than 300 girls have already registered to join in on the fun.
This is our passion and we're enjoying it more and more in the @CONCACAF Women’s Football Day!
A grassroots festival in Mexico, featuring a U-10 team.* *
Fun around the region
It was not just the Women’s World Cup participants taking part in Women’s Football Day. Member associations from Antigua to the Turks and Caicos Islands all celebrated in their own ways. Even FIFA President Blatter sent out a tweet praising CONCACAF’s efforts to inspire more girls and women to play football.
Antigua enjoyed a grassroots festival.
The young girls who participated in Women's Football Day in Barbados earned special certificates.
CONCACAF's Women's Football Day (El Salvador)
CONCACAF's Women's Football Day celebrated in 10 cities across the country where there are women's leagues (Honduras)
It was smiles across the board in Jamaica!
More than 117 girls from @FENIFUT celebrated the first annual Women's Football Day in @CONCACAF (Nicaragua)
Celebrating CONCACAF's Women's Football Day (Panama)
A successful festival of CONCACAF's women's football (Puerto Rico)
Turks and Caicos Islands Technical Director Craig Harrington congratulates the winning five-a-side team at their Women's Football Day celebrations.
CONCACAF’s efforts to put on Women’s Football Day has resulted in life-long memories for girls and young women around the region. Increased participation by young women and girls are a cornerstone for future development of the women’s game, and events such as these grassroots festivals and tournaments held on Saturday have provided numerous girls with the opportunity to play the sport they love.
Many of them will likely be watching the likes of Abby Wambach, Christine Sinclair, Marta and many more of the world’s best in just two week’s time, but with their own opportunities to follow their passion becoming more and more readily available, it could well be some of those women in the photos above that we see at future Women’s World Cups.
Next week, FIFA will be aiming to increase the level of grassroots girls and women's football participation around the world, by re-launching its Live Your Goals' campaign. Check back with us for more news soon, and be sure to follow @FIFAWWC for the latest women’s football news and updates.