Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg joins forces with Nora, a star InterSoccer player, to help double the number of girl and women footballers in Europe by 2024.
Eight -year-old Nora was invited by UEFA to meet Hegerberg – one of the world’s best footballers – to promote a far-reaching five-year strategy to boost participation in, and recognition of, women’s and girls’ football. Nora was able to play and chat with her hero while being filmed for an inspirational video that is likely to be watched by hundreds of millions of people.
UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2019
The filming took place ahead of the Women’s Champions League Final, where Olympique Lyonnais forward Hegerberg scored a historical hat-trick in the first 17 minutes of the game, to bring home the trophy to Lyon for the sixth time. The match against Barcelona took place in Budapest on Saturday 18 May. Olympique Lyonnais have played in eight Women’s Champions League finals in the past ten years.
Mum Emma said Nora was over the moon to meet her idol, and has watched Hegerberg’s acceptance speech for the Ballon d’Or hundreds of times. Last October Hegerberg became the first woman ever to win the award, one of the most prestigious prizes in football. When she collected the trophy, she sent a global message to players such as Nora when she advised: “I want to end this speech with a message to all young girls in the world. Believe in yourselves!”
Nora said she loves to play football because: “It’s a team sport, it’s with your feet, and there aren’t many sports where you use your feet.” She sent her own special message to other girls who have never played: “It’s fun – try it!”
The UEFA Women’s Football Strategy 2019-24
Among the goals of the strategy are to:
- Double the number of women and girls playing football in UEFA’s member associations to 2.5 million.
- Change the perceptions of women’s football across Europe.
- Double the reach and value of the UEFA Women’s EURO and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
- Improve player standards by reaching standard agreements for national team players and putting safeguarding policies in place in all 55 member associations.
- Double female representation on all UEFA bodies.
Nadine Kessler, UEFA’s head of women’s football, said: “This strategy will champion, innovate and accelerate women’s football for all, so that every women and girl can have a love and affinity for football, whether as a player, coach, referee, administrator or fan. Every girl, regardless of talent, deserves a place to play football and the possibility to strive for the impossible without limitation. Women’s football is football, and football has a huge ability to impact beyond the field of play and break down cultural and social barriers.”
Measures taken by UEFA in the last three years to improve football for female players include increasing funding to its women’s football development programme by 50% as of 2020, launching the Together #WePlayStrong campaign to encourage grassroots football, unbundling women’s football competition sponsorship to support revenue growth, and creating a specific women’s football unit. UEFA has also separated the venue of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final from the men’s event, in order to give the women’s final a platform of its own.
To find out more, read the full UEFA Women’s Football Strategy, and follow the campaign to inspire more girls to play football using the hashtag #TimeForAction. As the largest grassroots football organisation in Switzerland, InterSoccer has always welcomed girls to all camps and courses, as well as running girls-only camps and courses in selected regions. We welcome all abilities from age 2 to 13. We are proud to support #TimeForAction and we pledge to do all we can to encourage and inspire girls to play football in 2019 and beyond.