Saturday , April 13 2024

10th AFC Women’s Football Day 2024 marked by joyous celebrations – Part 2!

A series of exciting and fun-filled activities took place this March as Asia came together to commemorate the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Day 2024.

A record-equalling 41 Member Associations (MAs) joined the celebrations on the milestone 10th edition of the AFC Women’s Football Day, which aims to promote and honour the progress of women’s football across the Continent.

AFC Media in the second part of a series that highlights some of the wide-ranging initiatives that were on display, which acknowledge the hard work and remarkable achievements of women in Asian football and at the same time, seek to encourage more women and young girls to develop a life-long passion for the beautiful game.

Bhutan

The Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) observed the celebrations for a 10th successive time by holding events on March 8 at four different districts in the country, bound together by the theme of “Play to Inspire”.

Noting that women’s football in still in its “infancy”, Pema C. Tshering, BFF Head of Women’s Football, said: “This underscores the importance of not only playing the game but also inspiring others to participate and contribute to the advancement of women’s football in the country.”

In Bumthang, celebrations took place in collaboration with a local primary school before an exhibition match was held in the evening. Participants were visited by a spokesperson from RENEW (Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women), a non-profit organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women and children in Bhutan, who shared information regarding the initiatives and support schemes available to the girls and women.

Over in Sarpang at the BFF regional training centre for girls under the FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS) Programme, players experienced a meditation session focusing on mindfulness before local female leaders shared their experiences with regards to working in a male-dominated environment. With the city’s mayor in attendance, the day concluded with an exhibition game between the local community women and Dessup team.

Technical drill sessions and small-sided games between BFF staff and students of the Rangjung Central School in Trashigang were led by girls from the TDS Programme, while BFF linked up with the Ugyen Academy in Punakha to conduct five-a-side matches that involved 100 girls.

A “live” show on the BFF’s Facebook page featuring three Bhutan women’s national team players rounded off the celebrations, as they took questions and expressed their desire to inspire the future generation.

“A recurring theme… is to focus on the topic of empowerment and building confidence by using football as a catalyst for social change… our aim is to make these celebrations leave a lasting impact on participants, empowering them to contribute to the progress of girl’s and women’s football nationwide,” Tshering said.

Laos

The Bolikhamxay province in Laos staged a fiesta for 200 girls aged 12 and below from across 10 primary schools on March 8, led by 12 coaches from the Lao Football Federation.

Training sessions were conducted for the girls to acquire basic football skills, such as passing, ball control and shooting. Thereafter, the participants enjoyed various football-based games, which allowed them to acquire life skills like teamwork in a safe and non-competitive environment.

New friendships were forged during the celebrations, which the LFF hopes will spur participation rates in the women’s football programme.

Lebanon

Football festivals were held in the north and south of Lebanon by the Lebanese Football Association (LFA) in a showcase of commitment to gender equality and empowerment.

Staged in Saida on March 9 and Tripoli on March 11 with 75 and 60 participants respectively, the events featured six-a-side games that were savoured by the girls as well as their coaches, parents and referees.

The passion and enthusiasm on display reinforced the LFA’s dedication towards fostering an inclusive and progressive sporting culture, where women’s contributions are not only acknowledged but also celebrated with pride and admiration.

Mongolia

The Mongolian Football Federation (MFF) took its AFC Women’s Football Day 2024 celebrations to five different venues across the country with festivals that spanned five days, with a total of 350 participants enjoying the activities.

In the capital city of Ulaanbaatar on March 6, participants formed teams to engage in small-sided matches, which featured women’s national team players, physical education teachers of the public schools, female referees and MFF staff.

Similar festivals were also held on March 7 in the provinces of Uvurkhangai (south of Mongolia), Khentii (east) and Gobi Altai (west), and on March 9 in Tuv (central), which saw the girls of different ages being put through their paces with fun-filled drills involving ball control, dribbling, shooting and passing.

The festivities were successfully organised thanks to close collaboration between the MFF, the women’s national team players, National Physical Education Committee, National Agency for Sports and Public Physical Education, the member associations of the respective provinces as well as the schools.

Myanmar

A two-day celebration took place in Myanmar as 350 participants came together in Yangon to enjoy activities organised by the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) on March 7 and 8.

The AFC Women’s Football Day 2024 kicked off with a Workshop on Women’s Football Development at the MFF headquarters, which benefitted 60 physical education teachers, referees and coaches by touching on the topics of safeguarding, gender equality, health and wellbeing of female athletes, as well as the AFC Referee Academy and the progress of women’s football in the country.

The following day, the Bahan Artificial Turf staged the MFF Women’s Football Festival that featured various footballing activities for 250 girls and 40 women’s football coaches. Forty women’s national team players also joined in a friendly match and participants received various refreshments and each took home a football.

The Festival was graced by Dr. Cho Cho Myat Aung, Deputy Director General of the Yangon Region Education office, Ko Ko Thein, MFF GeneraI Secretary, Tin Myint Aung, MFF TechnicaI Director, Bunny Tin Aung, MFF Advisor, Tun Hla Aung, Chairman of Referee Committee and Ms. Kyawt Hay Thi Ko, Vice President of Yangon Township Football Association and MFF Head of Departments.

“These activities have significantly contributed to the promotion of women’s football development and raised awareness of the sport among the younger generation,” Ko Ko Thein, MFF General Secretary noted.

Nepal

The achievements of former national team captains, coaches as well as leaders in women’s football were honoured in Nepal by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) as part of their celebrations on March 8.

This was just one of many activities that took place, which included a football tournament for schools, skills workshops led by experienced coaches, awareness campaigns that touched on gender equality, women’s rights and equal opportunities advocacy, cultural dances, a cake cutting ceremony and distribution of T-shirts and footballs to girls.

ANFA members, including President Pankaj Bikram Nembang, Women’s Football Standing Committee Coordinator Ms. Sarila Shrestha Maleku and a majority of the executive board members attended the events, which collectively sought to empower women and girls through sports as well as foster their passion for football.

Oman

In Oman, the AFC Women’s Football Day 2024 was marked by a girls’ football festival to encourage participation in the sport, which is growing in the Sultanate as it works towards establishing a women’s national team.

The festival brought together participants of different ages in an enjoyable day out on the pitch as they celebrated the achievements of women in sport.

“The celebration of this occasion varies every year and that’s to appreciate Omani women in the sports industry, not only based on their achievements and championships as athletes, but also their achievements at managerial level in achieving international presence and representing Oman,” said Lujaina Mohsin Darwish, Chairperson of the Oman Football Association (OFA) Women’s Football Committee.

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