The achievements and contributions of women and girls in football will be recognised and celebrated by Football Australia over the coming week as Female Football Week takes on a digitally led focus for 2021.
From March 1 to March 8, Football Australia will publish a variety of content to highlight the important role females play at all levels of the sport, in addition to sharing a range of educational and informative factsheets and seminars to assist with the growth and development of female coaches, referees, administrators, volunteers, and clubs.
Football Australia’s Female Football Week 2021 will culminate on International Women’s Day on Monday, 8 March, and follows the release of Football Australia’s ambitious FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ Legacy plan – Legacy ‘23 – at Parliament House in Canberra last week.
Legacy ‘23 is Football Australia’s plan to deliver immediate and long-term community benefits and economic impact from Australia’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ – the biggest sporting event on Australian soil since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said Female Football Week is an important event in the Australian Football calendar as it provides the organisation and the broader football community with the opportunity to increase the visibility of women and girls in the game, promote strategies to increase women’s representation, and champion the advancement of the sport from the MiniRoos to the Westfield Matildas.
“Female Football Week 2021 is as important as ever given the stated and sharp focus that Football Australia has on women’s football and the development of women and girls in football,” Johnson said.
“Many of our initiatives throughout the coming week are aligned with key measures in our XI Principles for the future of Australian football and support our efforts to demonstrate to stakeholders the importance of creating a more supportive and inclusive environment for women and girls in football in Australia.
“Football Australia is targeting continued growth and 50:50 gender balance in participation by 2027. We believe Female Football Week provides the game with the platform to accelerate growth and achieve that target by recognising the important role women, together with men, play in delivering women’s football, and by showcasing that football is an inclusive and welcoming sport for women and girls from all communities, ages and abilities,” he said.
Football Australia’s Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion, Sarah Walsh, explained that Female Football Week 2021 content will be accessible through Football Australia’s digital and social channels.
“Over the next week the Female Football Week campaign aims to provide the community with the platform to celebrate the achievements of players, coaches, administrators and officiators,” Walsh said.
“Excitingly, Female Football Week 2021 will conclude with three online panels to celebrate International Women’s Day and Female Football Week 2021.”
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Hosted by Stephanie Brantz, the panels will focus on Leadership and Development in the modern era, and feature international and domestic executives, coaches and match officials.
The executive panel will feature Sarai Bareman, Chief of Women’s Football at FIFA, Karina LeBlanc, Head of Women’s Football at CONCACAF, Amanda Vandervort, Chief Women’s Football Officer at FIFPRO, and James Johnson and Sarah Walsh from Football Australia.
The coaching panel will feature Emma Hayes, Head Coach of Chelsea FC Women, Tony Gustavsson, Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas, and Mel Andreatta, Assistant Coach of the Westfield Matildas.
And the match officials panel currently features Kari Seitz, FIFA Head of Refereeing – Women, Kate Jacewicz, FIFA & Football Australia Referee, and Esfandiar Baharmast, former FIFA Referee and FIFA Referee Instructor.
“As an organisation that aspires to think local but act global, we’re thrilled that we can produce content with, and access insights from, change agents at the highest levels of football to share with Australia’s passionate football community. This is an important part of our mission for Australia to become the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region,” Walsh concluded.