The Danish Football Association released the results of their “Pigernes Stemme” (Voice of Girls) study earlier this year. The objectives of this study were to identify how to better promote women’s football in Denmark and how to recruit and retain young girls into the sport.
- The amount of support from family, club and coach; to girls, support from home is essential
- The coach; to girls, a coach’s focus on the social environment is just as important as the football skills
- The ability to prioritise football; half of the girls find it difficult to keep a good balance between school and football
- The social life in the club and within the team; to girls, it is almost as important to play with your friends as it is to play with someone at your own level and 40% of the girls would like their clubs to offer more social events
- The focus on womens football in the clubs; 40% of the girls feel that their clubs prioritise boys over girls and 25% of the girls have had bad experiences with changing rooms and other facilities
- 81% of the girls felt that there is too little focus on women’s football in the media
While the numbers may differ, I suspect we would find similar results in many other countries. These requirements and situations could be considered universal, and not necessarily applicable to just girls. And in regards to bad experiences with changing rooms, well, I think this furor last week also shows the results apply well beyond the this sport and young people.
Respect to the Danish FA though for undertaking the initiative to double its female members by 2025, and for incorporating the voices of young girls in determining the best courses of action to achieve the goal. Time will tell how well they are able to transform these results into tangible actions.