August was an eventful month in women’s football. New seasons kicked off in Germany and France, while the action began to draw to a close in the USA – the land of the world champions – as the title race came to a head. It was also a busy month for the Live Your Goals campaign as numerous festivals were staged in August, with many countries hosting the initiative for the first time. FIFA.com rounds up the latest activities.
Turks and Caicos Islands: The start of a new era
On 15 August the Live Your Goals campaign was officially launched in the Turks and Caicos Islands by the national football association (TCIFA). National team players Christma Jean-Louis, Sarah Cenery and Olivia Gravely all acted as ambassadors for the campaign, and each have enjoyed successful lives both on and off the pitch. The participating girls, aged between six and 12, spent the entire day on the ball and with the help of the women coaches present, they were encouraged to show and further develop their talent.
“Currently around 30 million women and girls worldwide play football,” said Sonia Bien-Aime, TCIFA president and member of the FIFA Executive Committee. “FIFA’s main objective is to increase that number to 45 million by the time of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. That’s a significant number and we’re proud to partner FIFA in their efforts to achieve that aim.”
*Armenia: Success in Vardenis *On 28 August a festival was held in Vardenis, a city in the Armenian province of Gegharkunik, and it proved to be a wonderful occasion filled with children’s laughter and happy participants. Around 77 talented youngsters took great delight in the event, which took place on the south-eastern shore of Lake Sevan, the biggest lake in Caucasus. The coaches involved the girls in diverse football drills and at the end they put their newly acquired knowledge into practice in matches against each other on small-sized pitches. On top of that, all participants were given t-shirts.
Republic of Ireland: Women’s football on the rise
Festivals in the Republic of Ireland are growing in popularity. In Dublin alone over 300 girls between the ages of seven and 13 took part in the country’s Live Your Goals activities. The event was organised in conjunction with the local government, the Fingal County Council, which supports the development of women’s football.
In Dublin, the young girls were not only encouraged to kick the ball around, but also to give their all in games on small-sized pitches. It was the first time many of the players had ever touched a football. That is exactly what FIFA’s Live Your Goals campaign is for: to invite people to give the game a try and to stick with it.
*Wales: Showcasing women’s football *At the start of the Welsh Premier Women’s Football League, the highest division in the women’s game in Wales, a national women’s football festival was held in Aberystwyth. The participants were divided into two groups. In the first one, not only did the U-8 and U-10 players gain experience in football, they also had fun face painting and dancing. In the second group the teams, divided into the age categories of U-12s (for six and seven year olds); U-14s (for eight and nine year olds); U-16s (ten to eleven year olds) and adults, played out a mini tournament. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase women’s and girl’s football in Wales to the wider public.
*Further festivals *In addition to the events mentioned above, festivals were also held in Jamaica, Curacao, Dominican Republic and Belgium.