Yesterday was #internationalwomensday and as an academy and a club this is an area we want to improve. Futsal is a fantastic sport and we believe that females should have the same opportunities to play the sport as the men.
Right now we have a number of promising females in our structure and other academies and teams across the country are the same. The girls involved currently play with and against boys, which is not an issue as they more than hold their own, but what about the future? How can we keep the girls involved in futsal and ensure they have the same opportunities as men?
In the mens game in Scotland there are regional leagues and a Super League consisting of the best futsal teams in the country. The league champions qualify for the UEFA Champions League and the best players from across the country have an opportunity to go on and represent Scotland or other nations at international level. Unfortunately there are not the same opportunities for women or youths for that matter. After 6 years, I cannot understand why and if futsal is to develop and grow as a sport, this has to change.
Over the last 6 years, we have developed futsal in Fife and other academies have done similar across the country. Futsal was unknown in Fife but in the winter months in particular we have over 1000 kids involved in the sport every week.
This year, it is our aim to get more females involved in futsal, in both playing and coaching capacities.
We want to work with Active Schools to create boys and girls futsal teams at S1/S2 and S3/S4 age groups and to work with girls teams in the region to provide them or their player with opportunities to play futsal all year round.
If this is a success it would help keep more people active and involved in sport, it would help develop aspiring footballers and just as importantly it would help create a pathway for aspiring futsal players.
We are under no illusion that this will be a challenge but it is one that what want to succeed in.
Any support from clubs, coaches, parents and Active Schools to help this happen is welcome.