UEFA to launch new campaign to boost participation in girls’ football18 May 2017

EuropeanfootballgoverningbodyUEFAwilllaunchanewcampaign nextmonthaimedat makingfootballtheNo1participationsportforgirlsandwomeninEuropeby2022.

The campaign, “Together #WePlayStrong”, will be launched on 1 June ahead of this summer’s European Championship in the Netherlands, and follows research that shows that football can have a positive impact on self-confidence in teenage girls.

The study, conducted by UEFA and an elite group of specialists, investigated the the effect football has on the psychological and emotional state of girls and young women in Europe, taking into account the impact on self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation and life skills and compared those results to other popular sports. Data was collected from six countries: Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey.

Results revealed that:

  • 80% of teenage girls exhibited more confident behaviour thanks to playing with a football team/club vs 74% of those who played other sports;
  • 54% of young footballers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I am less concerned what others think about me as a result of playing my sport’ compared with 41% of those who played other sports;
  • 58% of the 13–17 year-old female footballers questioned said they had overcome a lack of self-confidence as a result of playing football, compared with 51% of girls who play other sports;
  • 48% said they are less self-conscious as a result of playing football, compared with 40% of those who play other sports;

UEFA’s women’s football advisor Nadine Kessler said: “Drawing upon my own experience, I can’t emphasise enough how important this is when you are growing up.

“I am certain that we can change perceptions and make it cool for teenage girls to play football. If we manage to achieve this, we will be on our way to achieving our goal of making football the number one sport for girls around Europe.”