WOMEN'S FOOTBALL ON THE UP AND UPPublished: 15-03-2012 20:35
Women's football is becoming increasingly more popular and more accessible to the female sex. Its beauty and utilitarian aspect for different purposes have been extolled over and over again. Notwithstanding this, more is being done to promote this beautiful game amongst the females so that bigger numbers will opt to take it up and thus benefit from the various physical advantages it offers while also helping to imbue in the girls sound qualities of a social dimension. Here one should mention that besides basic skills such as agility, balance, co-ordination and speed, football also helps in the girls’ educational upbringing, instilling in them upright values in the way of fair play, a spirit of camaraderie and self-discipline, among many other qualities. The Malta Football Association, through its Women’s Football Department within the TechnicalCentre and also thanks to UEFA’s assistance, is fully immersed in organising and further promoting women’s football at all levels. This is evident from the fully-fledged national football leagues, the international matches Malta is taking part in and the unending number of festivals which are organised throughout the year. The coaching sector is also being catered for and seminars are held on a regular basis. Presently there are three fully qualified women coaches and the fourth one is in the offing. These coaches form an integral part of the MFA’s coaching staff at the Technical Centre and are vital to the work being done in the Girls Football Academy. The purpose of this academy is to ensure a constant supply of talented individuals who can be gradually drafted into Malta’s representative squads. Physical trainers’ courses go hand in hand with this technical build-up of our coaching staff, and as far as this is concerned four women will soon qualify as physical trainers. The complement of players to date is 1474, a number which has grown from the figure of 1318 there were in season 2010/2011. It must be remembered that the number of registered players has grown steadily from the starting base of 151 in season 1995/1996. A truly remarkable increase, which is also reflected in the number of teams there is at present – 17 in the two divisions and ten in the Under-16 league. Increasing numbers of girls are envisaged by way of introducing the game through programmes for church and primary schools, where free football sessions are now being conducted. The MFA’s women’s football department is liaising with these schools and devising programmes tailor-made to their requirements. Promotion of girls’ football is now being carried out in the schools by the women’s teams’ national coaches. Today’s press conference seeks to give a further push in promoting the game and therefore generate more interest among the girls and also their parents. Furthermore, the football festival scheduled for Monday 19th March at the Luxol Stadium for girls aged between 9 and 16 is yet another activity aimed at whipping up the game’s popularity among females. These MFA’s initiatives, in collaboration with the Kunsill Malti għall-iSport (KMS), will undoubtedly ensure a bright and exciting future for girls. With training, motivation and determination they could one day have the opportunity to become part of Malta’s representative teams, besides playing league football with their clubs on a regular basis.