(Photo Credit: OFC Media via Gregg Porteous – Laureus Foundation Global Director for Development Vicky Lowe and OFC President Lambert Maltock)

The Oceania Football Confederation and the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation have signed a letter of intent to combine forces and actively collaborate to achieve gender equity and empower women and girls through football in the 11 OFC Member Associations.

Since 2009 OFC has delivered football for development programmes aimed at supporting the social development of individuals and communities across the Pacific and this year has launched its new Social Responsibility Strategy “The Power of Football.”

This goes beyond delivery of individual programmes to integrate a focus on social development through all football operations. It acknowledges that supporting individual and community health and wellbeing is central to the sustainable growth of football.

In the Pacific 70% of women and girls are insufficiently active yet 97% of girls report being active makes them happy.  This is one of many reasons why OFC and Laureus will be working collaboratively to provide opportunities for more women and girls to play the game.

OFC and Laureus will partner to accelerate gender equity in football through a sport for development approach, delivering a series of initiatives across the Pacific to ensure the power of sport in the region is harnessed to advance gender justice by promoting women and girls’ leadership, raising female voices, and ending violence against women and girls.

OFC President Lambert Maltock welcomed the new partnership with the world’s most prestigious sport’s charity.

“This partnership will help OFC to grow the game and provide positive experiences for all involved. We share the same goals as Laureus to end gender-based violence,” Maltock said.

Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of Laureus Sport for Good and All Blacks legend, added. “Through the Sport for Good programmes we support around the world, Laureus is striving for gender equity for young women and girls. The opportunity to use partnerships to test new approaches and to innovate, as we’re doing with the OFC, will help us achieve that goal.”

The two organisations will work to strengthen young   women and girls’ self-confidence and building on existing OFC training, mentoring, leadership and coach development to build capacity and create opportunities for female coaches, leaders and community role models.