Although the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ is fast becoming a distant memory, it has left its mark on the footballing world. The crowning of USA as world champions has inspired many young girls to start playing the sport in the hope of one day emulating their new heroes.
FIFA’s Live Your Goals campaign supports these dreams by encouraging girls and young women to not only give football a try but also stick with it in the long term. Numerous activities were organised in July as several countries, including Rwanda, Tanzania and St. Kitts and Nevis, launched new campaigns.
Tanzania: Women’s football on the up
5 July 2015 was a special day for women’s football in Tanzania. The country held its first LYG festival at the Nyankumbu Girls Secondary School in Geita on the day of the Women’s World Cup Final between USA and Japan, continuing the upward trend for a sport enjoying ever greater popularity in this East African nation. The fact that the women’s national team have qualified for the first time for the All-Africa Games taking place in Brazzaville, Congo, from 3 to 18 September has also helped to fuel this surge in interest.
The event in Geita laid the foundation for FIFA’s target of organising at least two LYG festivals per year to help continue the growth of women’s football in Tanzania. The national team’s captain Sophia Mwasikili, goalkeeper Fatuma Omary and longest-serving player Esther Chabruma were on hand to welcome the girls to the festival and share all kinds of footballing tips and tricks with these promising youngsters. More than 250 girls of all ages attended the event, kicking a ball around and competing against each other on small pitches.
*Azerbaijan: The Legacy programme continues *A few months before the start of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2012 in Azerbaijan, women’s football entered a new era in the country where Western Asia meets Eastern Europe, as the Live Your Goals initiative and Legacy programme were launched in Baku. The festival held in July this year was part of the latter programme, which provides specific steps for getting young girls and women involved in the game and offers training and seminars for coaches and referees.
The event continued the activities of the past three years, as six coaches (including Azerbaijan’s U-19 and U-21 international Aysun Aliyeva) gave the young participants a grounding in shooting accuracy, coordination and much more. Meanwhile, any visitors not taking part in events on the pitch put their knowledge to the test with a football quiz and received small gifts from the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) at the end of the day.
*Scotland: Huge response in Aberdeen, Paisley and Glasgow *
The LYG campaign was celebrated with three separate festivals in Scotland as several hundred eager young footballers met in Aberdeen, Paisley and Glasgow to improve their ball skills. In Paisley alone, 314 girls took part in technical exercises and games on small pitches that gave them a chance to move more and get more practice in match situations. Meanwhile, girls from 12 different secondary schools gave their all in seven-a-side games in Aberdeen, many of them trying out the sport for the very first time.
Four further LYG festivals will be held between August and November, in addition to a series of smaller specialist events aimed at encouraging greater participation in the women’s game.
More information on these events can be found HERE.
In addition to the events outlined above, festivals were also held in Armenia, Northern Irelands, Peru, Australia, Republic of Ireland and Panama.