Soccer Sisters Festival kicks off in Savai'i
The big island of Savai’i has kicked off its first Soccer Sisters Festival on Saturday since the relaxation of state of emergency [S.O.E.] orders.
The football initiative began in 2012 with the support of the Oceania Football Confederation and F.I.F.A.’s [International Federation of Association Football] Women Football Development Program.
It was a one-day event for girls and women and is in line with the Football Federation of Samoa’s [F.F.S. objective of increasing women and girls’ participation in the sport at all levels.
The participation of women and young girls in the festival is also a testament to the efforts of the F.F.S. to address gender issues and to encourage girls and mothers of all ages to socialise, keep fit and enjoy football.
The festival includes games between small sides and individual tournaments.
All participants will also be engaged in the ‘Just Play’ programme, which includes activities such as workshops on keeping safe; hygiene; gender equality; child protection; social inclusion and health and wellness. Participants are provided with refreshments, water, transportation and Just Play wristbands with social messages on it.
In a statement released by the Football Federation of Samoa’s, Savai’i Manager and Head of Technical Operations, Papalii Tala Salamasina, said that the festival is an important date on the women’s football calendar.
“It enables [the] F.F.S. to determine the number of girls involved in weekly F.F.S. activities such as player development, goalkeeping, women’s football, elite football and refereeing,” he said
The Girls Football Festivals were initiated by F.I.F.A. and overseen by the Oceania Football Confederation.
F.F.S Women’s Football Development division believes that the Soccer Sisters Festival is essential to the development and maintenance of girls’ interest in football.
This was the first such festival held since 2018. More Soccer Sisters festivals are scheduled to be held for the remaining six months of the year.
Football Clubs, Primary Schools and Communities selected for the one-day event include Gataivai, Vailoa Palauli, Sili, Puleia, Maota, Satupaitea, Iva Primary School, Lalomalava Primary School, Sapapalii Primary School, Salelologa S.C., Mackay S.C., Iva Lions S.C., Saipipi S.C., Lalomalava S.C., Vaiafai S.C. and Sapapalii S.C.
The next Soccer Sister Festival is scheduled to be held in Upolu on 8 August at the Upolu East District.