Photo Credit: OFC Media

OFC’s new initiative to introduce more girls and young women into football proved popular at the This Is How We Football Festival in Fiji last week. 40 participants gathered at the Fiji Football Academy grounds in Suva for the festival which had an emphasis on fun while introducing skill building exercises.

The young women enjoyed an hour of fun activities, including small-sided games, passing and heading drills. Throughout the event, important discussions took place, focusing on empowering messages, life skills, health, and safety.

A select few lucky participants had the opportunity to continue their festival journey at the HFC Stadium, where they experienced what it was like to be a national player.

As part of the halftime entertainment for the OFC U19 Women’s Championship 3rd and 4th play-off, five participants engaged in an exciting penalty shoot-out in front of the home crowd.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) launched the This Is How We Football program with the aim of involving young women aged 13 to 18 in football, regardless of their level of experience.

“This Is How We Football seeks to enhance all aspects of women’s football in the region by providing teenage girls with a safe space to play and learn valuable life and leadership skills.” OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans explained.

“The program not only raises awareness and visibility of women in the game but also ensures they develop a positive and lasting relationship with football through capacity building and coach education.” Evans added.

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Chelsey Taylor, OFC’s Social Responsibility Impact Manager highlights the impact This Is How We Football can have on girls through intentional activities integrated into football. “By understanding the barriers and enablers for women and girls we have identified health, safety and empowerment as key focus areas. Through partnering with local and regional stakeholders, the program can adapt to meet the needs of the community. Ultimately, This Is How We Football enables and empowers women and girls to excel in all areas on and off the pitch.” Taylor said.

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