For years, football was seen as a man’s sport, and women who wanted to take part were often prevented from doing so. However, there is now more emphasis on women’s football, with interest in professional leagues and tournaments gaining rapidly in popularity. It’s not only great to see less gender stereotyping, but it’s also been shown to have massive benefits for those who play, as a recent report shows.
UEFA recently published a study that found that girls who played football were more likely to have a greater sense of self-confidence than those who played other sports. The report, which gathered data from more than 4,000 girls in England, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Poland, was the largest of its kind and looked at the physiological and emotional wellbeing of those who played the sport.
The study looked at the effect football had on self-confidence, well-being, self-esteem, motivation, feelings of togetherness and life skills in the teenage girls who participated. It showed that 80 per cent displayed more confidence due to their involvement playing in a football team compared to 74 per cent of those who played other sports. The report also revealed that 48 per cent felt less self-conscious due to playing football, whereas 41 per cent of those who played other sports felt the same. Everyone who participated in sport were found to be more self-confident than those who did not, yet the numbers were consistently higher for those who specialised in football.
The push for women’s football
UEFA has recognised the need to acknowledge women’s football more since they came up with the Women’s Football Development Programme back in 2010. Premier League football teams have also invested resources to help improve the number of women and girls getting involved in professional football, with more following suit.
Even simple additions, such as the greater availability of women’s and unisex Adidas football kits like those found at https://www.kitking.co.uk/category/adidas-full-strips, are helping to push the importance of equality in football.
Together We Play Strong
With UEFA set to launch its “Together #WePlayStrong” campaign on 1st June, a movement that aims to make football the top sport for women’s and girls’ by 2022, football is expected to become increasingly popular. With such great benefits for those who play, it’s easy to see why more girls are getting involved.