William Gaillard (Director of commu-nications and Public Affairs for UEFA) announced exclusively this news in December 2012 in the last scientific issue of the think tank Sport and Citizenship (see the article).
During this summer’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 final tournament, UEFA (partner of Sport and Citizenship) will join up with the World Heart Federation for the “Make a Healthy Heart Your Goal” campaign. The campaign encourages women and girls to lead an active lifestyle and practise sports such as football to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. His Royal Highness Prince Daniel of Sweden is the official patron of the campaign, which is being fronted by Swedish national team and Olympique Lyonnais player Lotta Schelin.
Karen Espelund, member of the UEFA Executive Committee and chairwoman of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee, said: “Women’s football is not just a skilful and dynamic game, but it also has a unifying and empowering social effect. Football is the number one team sport for girls and women in Europe, and it can help combat the number one killer, heart disease. UEFA believes that every girl should have the opportunity to play football locally, regardless of skill or talent, and our partnership with the World Heart Federation supports this goal.”
Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation, said: “Football and being active can contribute to combating cardiovascular disease, the most common cause of death for women. The World Health Organization recommends doing 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, such as playing sport, to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Our partnership with UEFA is a great way for us to increase awareness of the importance of physical activity.”
The UEFA Women’s EURO 2013, the most prestigious European national team football competition for women, will be played in Sweden between 10 and 28 July. The Make a Healthy Heart Your Goal campaign will peak at the semi-final matches on 24 and 25 July.
There are approximately 1.2 million registered female players in Europe, which makes football the number one team sport for women on the continent. As the European football governing body, UEFA is committed to the development of girls and women’s football in all of its 53 full member associations. The UEFA Women’s Football Development Programme (WFDP) was set up to support the extensive progress of the female game. The programme is tailor-made according to the member associations’ priorities and caters for their specific needs. The WFDP specifically supports associations which were previously less active in catching up with the countries that have more established women’s football structures in place. From July 2012 to July 2016, the women’s football development programme, part of UEFA’s HatTrick III funding, awards each member association funds earmarked specifically for the development of girls and women’s football.
UEFA also supports its member associations in increasing the number of women in football’s leadership positions. The number of women in UEFA committees has seen a significant increase: for the 2011-15 period, UEFA has 24 female committee members overall, which include one chair position and four vice-chair positions. This represents an increase of 71 per cent from the 2009-11 period.
UEFA’s women’s football development work and women’s competitions: UEFA.com/women
Make A Healthy Your Goal campaign: http://bit.ly/QxvmfL
Campaign video with Lotta Schelin: http://bit.ly/QwKiL0