Women’s game going to new heights

Ten years later they once again have the opportunity to welcome an event that will be crucial to furthering the women’s game throughout the region.
FIFA and OFC are organising the seminar to help with assessing the progress made and creating a vision for the Confederation and Associations to follow.
CIFA CEO Mii Piri says it is an honour for the association to be welcoming colleagues from across the Pacific to discuss the successes and struggles each of them face in engaging women in football.
“Here in Cook Islands we have definitely grown the number of women playing football in the last ten years,” she says.
“We offer more programmes than before and there are a greater number of leagues, some of them mixed, that provide women with the opportunity to play.”
Piri says holding the seminar during the 2016 OFC U-17 Women’s Championship it also helps raise the profile of the seminar and what it is trying to achieve.
“Each of the teams participating in this competition have players who have come through the various programmes on offer in each Member Association which shows that we are making a difference.
“For the Cook Islands and the development of the women’s game here we hope that as well as raising the profile we have shown local girls that playing football can lead somewhere, that they can represent their country and travel the world.”
The FIFA Women’s Football Regional Development Seminar brings together the CEOs or General Secretaries, technical directors and women’s football development officers from each of the 11 OFC Member Associations.
“The Oceania region has come forth in the past years by putting in place tailor-made programmes for women and girls. In particular we have seen great progress with grassroots projects and the creation of youth leagues.
“Together with OFC, FIFA seeks to explore further opportunities to help associations become more competitive and realizing the full potential of women’s football in the region,” says Mayi Cruz Blanco, FIFA Senior Women’s Football Development Manager.
A crucial step in the future is to optimise current development plans and work on priorities at Associations and Confederation level.
Under discussion over the course of the four-day seminar will be the current status, potential and future of women’s football development in Oceania, as well as some of the trends on the international stage. Grassroosts, youth and league development will be key topics.
In collaboration with OFC and FIFA the 2015-2018 Member Association Development Plans will be discussed as will the creation of a shared vision for women’s football in Oceania.
The seminar will also aim to provide Member Associations in the region with different tools that will help them to plan and monitor the progress.
Sessions will be led by FIFA Consultant Ebru Koksal and FIFA Women’s Football Instructor Hesterine De Reus.
The FIFA/OFC Women’s Football Regional Development Seminar is being held in Rarotonga from 19-21 January.

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