The Malta Football Association held the first Open Day for the season 2014/2015, as part of an ongoing campaign, supported by FIFA called ‘LIVE YOUR GOALS’ on Saturday December 27th.
This ‘Live Your Goals’ Open Day was another success, bringing more than a hundred new Under 11 girls participating in the association’s free fun activity held at the Centenary Stadium.
To make the occasion more attractive the coaching was done by the women’s national team coaches, the MFA Girls’ Academy coaches and the women national team players together with coaches of several clubs.
The ‘Live Your Goals’ Open Day initiative was launched by FIFA to build enthusiasm for football among girls and women around the world and inspire as many as possible to take up the game. As a result of such initiatives there are 29 million women and girls playing football worldwide. Maltese Women’s football was established in 1995 and after almost two decades we believe it has grown to be the number one female sport in our country. Recent years have shown a steady increase in numbers of female footballers and this prompted the Malta FA to conform with this expansion by changing the league structure and also introducing an Under 16 women’s league and Under 11 LYG festivals.
Following this idea, once again the MFA has hosted the first Free Open Day for Girls U11s for this season. The ‘Live your goals’ Open Day was held at the Centenary Stadium on the 27th December 2014. As usual, the organisers had the professional academy national team coaches and national team players at the event.
The MFA’s ambassadors for the LYG campaign are Dorianne Theuma and Charlene Zammit who have been chosen because they are exemplary players and very dedicated MFA Girls Academy coaches. Malta’s new national team captain and vice-captain, were amongst the rest of the coaches at event and that made it more pleasant and attractive for the girls taking part. The ambassadors said that they could see themselves in these girls with all their enthusiasm and determination they showed. “We are glad to be part of this campaign and to be able to help in providing opportunities to young Maltese girls, opportunities which we did not have when we were just starting in football.”
Bjorn Vassallo – MFA General Secretary, Maria Mifsud – Deputy General Secretary (Grassroots, Youth Development & Education) and Pierre Brincat – National Team coach were all present for the event. The MFA representatives explained the importance of introducing girls to football at the grassroots level, at the same age as boys. They stated that they would like all of the present women’s senior club teams, to have an U 16 team and an U 11 team. The MFA aspires for growth in girls from 6 years of age and more qualified female coaches to coach these young girls.
The aim of the open days and the fortnightly festivals is to widen the area of participation among the younger generation in the 6 to 11 category while also retain the young girls in the football fold. This will reinforce the concept of the project. By means of this nationwide ‘FIFA Live Your Goals’ campaign and free open days carrying this slogan the MFA is expected to generate another fresh surge of enthusiasm among girls between 6 and 11 years of age.
As a result, in season 2014-2015 the association is taking another step towards the further development of the game. The MFA’s vision and plans for the next four years are now that of assisting the clubs further and increase the number of qualified women’s coaches and also young girls at grassroots level.
For season 2014/15 there are 11 teams participating in the Girls U 11 Festivals. There are also other teams that have already started organising themselves for the next season so that they can start taking part in the LYG festivals and the MFA open days like at present.
The next open day festival this season will be held in April 2015.
The LYG Festivals are a platform for young talent to shine and present one of these youngsters who took their first steps into the game at a ‘Live Your Goals’ festival and open day like the one held today, with the opportunity to appear on a future representative team shortlist!
This campaign is organised by the association under the auspices of FIFA. Expressions of thanks are extended to FIFA for their support to the MFA’s application in their campaign to increase girls in the grassroots.
For more information the MFA may be contacted on [email protected]