19 May 2017
It's a fact - playing football gives girls more self-confidence than any other sport ©uefa.com
On 1 June UEFA will launch the “Together #WePlayStrong” campaign, a groundbreaking initiative aiming to make football the number one participation sport for girls and women in Europe by 2022.
The plan has six core pillars with the key UEFA's pledge to work with each of the 55 National Associations on a 1:1 basis to develop a strong local plan to drive participation
Commencing at the UEFA Women's Champions League final on 1 June, the overall aim of 'Together #WePlayStrong" is to drive participation and reduce drop-out.
The launch follows the release of a study involving 4,128 girls and young women aged 13 and over, which suggests that football can have a greater positive impact on the self-confidence of teenage girls than other popular sports.
An elite group of specialists investigated the effect football has on the psychological and emotional state of girls and young women in Europe - and the findings were fascinating.
Quite simply, girls who play football are more confident than girls who play other sports. Eighty per cent of girls exhibited more confident behaviour thanks to playing with a football team/club vs 74% of those who played other sports
Data for the research was collected from six countries: Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey. The research took into account the impact that football has on self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation and life skills and compared those results to other popular sports.
Some of the key findings were as follows:
• 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
Nadine Kessler, UEFA’s women’s football advisor, told uefa.com: “This study shows that girls who play football have greater self-confidence than those who don’t play the game.
"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.”
Since UEFA launched its Women’s Football Development Programme in 2010, the game has expanded at all levels across Europe and this summer's UEFA Women’s EURO final tournament in the Netherlands will involve 16 teams for the first time.
Share this article