It is a fact that football, today, is no longer the sole preserve of men.
In evidence of this, in 2006 the Belgian football Federation (URBSFA) included some 15,000 players. This has now been supplemented by more than 38,000 women with football club membership. And interest in football continues to rise, as do the numbers of fans attending matches and the popularity of the sport as shown by the media.
The New Hope Foundation is proud to support and endorse women’s football, not only by way of equal opportunities but also for the clear benefits this sport has to offer, as is shown by the following figures from a study carried out by UEFA, involving more than 4,000 girls and young women in Europe. The study shows that:
– More than 80% of the girls questioned find that playing football gives them a more positive self-image. For other sports, this figure is 74%.
– 58% of girls aged 13 to 17 say that they have overcome a lack of self-confidence by playing football.
– 54% of young girls are less concerned about what others think of them thanks to football.
– 48% of girls who play football say they feel less shy. That’s 8% more than for other sports.
In spite of this undeniable rise in the number of girls now flourishing in the sport, many of them, from poorer backgrounds, experience some difficulty in realizing their dream, essentially for financial reasons. For, club membership represents a significant financial outlay. This includes an annual fee, essential kit which the club does not provide, travelling expenses in attending both matches and training sessions, and furthermore the costs connected with tournaments held in Belgium or abroad and involving the costs of accommodation and meals, and also travelling expenses.
On top of this, combining sport with studies is often difficult for some young people who have to juggle homework with work preparation, sports training, and more if they are finding difficulties in their school lives.
All these constraints serve to put a brake on the lives of these young girls who may nevertheless represent a pool of promising talent, but one that may not see the light of day because of a lack of resources. Our aim is to remove these extra hurdles, in the hope that all of these young women and girls will be able to live out their passion for their sport.
The New Hope Foundation seeks to promote women’s football in backing all projects and initiatives that are able to weld both sport and study. We offer these girls support to enable them to enjoy football and, at the same time, to gain a qualification and/or a professional career.