Football Canterbury buoyed by successful introductory program
Football Canterbury has seen a positive impact thanks to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup via their courses including the ability to facilitate an introductory program aimed at attracting a new audience to the world game.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup had a significant influence on our local football community,” said Football Canterbury’s Female Development Officer Fiona Craven.
“Following the World Cup, we’ve experienced a surge in interest from women and girls who are eager to take up football and aspire to emulate their newfound favourite Matildas players.
“This was an opportunity we couldn’t let slip by, and fortunately, we were awarded a grant from the NSW Football Legacy Fund to establish an introductory program aimed at attracting this fresh audience.”
Not knowing what the exact uptake would be when launching the new program, Craven mentioned she was astounded at the response of registrations with the program reaching maximum capacity within just a few days.
“The overwhelming response we received from the first program prompted us to launch a second group later for younger girls,” said Craven.
“In total we saw over 100 participants across all programs, marking a significant increase in female participation in our association, which we are hopeful will translate into registrations next year.”
Craven believes the support of the NSW Football Legacy Fund helped provide their association with the facilities to support the significant increase in demand off the back of the FIFA Womens World Cup.
“At the final night of the program, participants had the opportunity to showcase their newly acquired skills in small-sided games during a mini-tournament.
“To make the night even more special, we were fortunate to host two players from the Western Sydney Wanderers, Madison McComasky and Alexia Apostolakis, who actively participated in the games and presented medals during the final ceremony.”
The passionate female football advocate mentioned the impact the programs had on their local community had been remarkable.
“These programs have encouraged more individuals to take up the sport, making our local football community stronger and more vibrant.
“The sense of community, skill development, and enthusiasm these programs have fostered bodes well for the future of women’s football in our area. We are optimistic that this increased engagement will translate into even more registrations for our winter competition next year. The ripple effect of the Womens World Cup has truly left an indelible mark on our local football landscape.”
This web story is supported by the NSW Government under the NSW Football Legacy Program.