Young hopefuls ‘living their goals’

Papatoetoe South School pupils with New Zealand U-17 internationals Ashleigh Emery and Ally Toailoa.

Thousands of budding young female footballers have had the chance to fall in love with the beautiful game over the past seven days as the FIFA Live Your Goals Week makes its mark all over the country.

Kicking off last Sunday, the campaign has been celebrated among each of the country’s seven federations with festivals, have-a-go sessions, Football Ferns appearances and a range of other activities all being staged from the Northern Football region all the way down to Football South.

Having previously been held in September, the FIFA Live Your Goals Week was moved to earlier in the year for 2017 to coincide with the winter club registration window as New Zealand Football continues to encourage more Kiwis to ‘Get In’ to football.

The first phase of the ‘Get In’ campaign is aimed at driving playing numbers and therefore ties in perfectly with FIFA Live Your Goals, the key objectives of which are to increase participation levels of females in football and create further opportunities for the women’s game to thrive.

In addition to aligning with ‘Get In’ and the registration window, the FIFA Live Your Goals Week arrives at a timely moment with the National Women’s Futsal League taking place in Wellington this weekend and the Football Ferns about to compete in the Cyprus Cup next month.

New Zealand Football Women’s Development Manager Holly Nixon says this week is an important fixture on the women’s football calendar.

“The FIFA Live Your Goals Week is a great opportunity to create awareness for girls and women’s football, and to ensure more females are playing and loving football,” she says.

There is a solid foundation to build on as the female game has already experienced significant growth in recent years. Since the inception of the award-winning Whole of Football Plan in 2011, women’s affiliated player numbers have grown by 30 per cent with over 50 per cent of girls now participating in some form of football in New Zealand.

“Campaigns like the FIFA Live Your Goals week are so important for continuing the momentum in the women’s game,” Nixon says.

“We are continuously aiming to improve pathways and reduce barriers for girls and women to get involved in both football and futsal. This week is a great tool for girls and women to find information about how to get involved in winter football, as well as what clubs they can join.”

Related Topics: