Estonia have taken a giant step towards building the nation’s next generation of female footballers, after successful hosting several FIFA Live Your Goals events.
The Estonian FA hosted five festivals in as many months in five different cities all over Estonia, with organisers richly rewarded as 550 young players aged 5-14 attending. The cities that hosted events were Rakvere, Tartu, Parnu, Kuressaare and the capital Tallinn.
The festivals were organised by the Estonian FA grassroots department together with Estonian women’s football team’s technical staff. It is the third year in a row that FIFA Live Your Goals festivals have been held in different Estonian cities.
Ambassadors were at each event, and at the Tallinn festival that included members of the Estonia women’s national team who were preparing for their opening UEFA Women’s EURO qualifiers against Serbia and England. The youngsters in Tallinn were also treated to the appearance of England FIFA Women’s World Cup™ star Karen Bardsley, and team-mate Mary Earps who joined in exercises and talked about their own football experiences.
“During recent years EJL (Estonia FA) has put a lot of emphasis to introducing football among girls and women,” explained Anne Rei, General Secretary of the EJL. “Besides organising festivals and general promotion work we also created a new visual identity for the women’s game in the country. It’s called 'Tüdrukud on mängus' which stands for 'Girls are in the game'. It’s meant to encourage girls and women to embrace football and make them feel comfortable playing the game. It also sends a clear signal that women and girls are fully accepted in the game.”