Hong Kong social responsibility legacy project kicks off
Hong Kong: The details of a football empowerment programme for girls and women in Hong Kong were confirmed at the first project working group meeting held in Hong Kong earlier this week. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) – Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) Legacy Project is a legacy programme of the AFC-EPL (English Premier League) Football Social Development Conference organised earlier this year.
The programme is funded by the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, as announced by Mahfuza Akhter Kiron Female, the AFC’s Female Member of the FIFA Council, at the AFC-EPLconference in July. This week’s first working group meeting was attended by AFC and HKFA representatives, social responsibility partners Wofoo Social Enterprise and Zesh Foundation, Plan International, Hong Kong Education Bureau and Hong Kong Education University and Hong Kong School Sports Federation.
HKFA CEO Mark Sutcliffe said: “We are thankful to the AFC for providing this wonderful opportunity of a legacy project focusing on girls’ and women’s empowerment through football. This is timely because HKFA is paying a lot attention to girls’ football development."
Zesh Rehman, founder of Zesh Foundation, added: “This is a great effort by both the AFC and HKFA and I am proud to be part of it. Zesh Foundation will do its best to assist as much as possible through previous experience in similar programmes. It is great to see the high level of stakeholder commitment and as we clearly have the right group of people involved I am confident of the success of this project.”
The working group agreed on an array of different activities to be included in the project. These are very targeted and encourage and support girls and women to take up football, through school visits by women’s football players highlighting different career pathways in and into football, a school football festival with fun football activities and mini competitions and health awareness aspects.
Schools will be assisted in promoting football for girls via setting up girls’ teams and awareness campaigns will be run via social media and football stadium visibility.
In addition to encouraging playing the game, the project will include a coaching and refereeing element, aiming to interest girls in becoming a coach or a referee via school road shows.
HK Education Bureau’s Curriculum Development Officer Yeung Tatman commented on increasing participation among girls: “It is challenging to motivate the modern kids to be actively involved in sports for a long term. However, football remains a very popular sport in Hong Kong. With such wonderful effort by the AFC and HKFA I am sure we can help convince parents to encourage their children to take up football. The Education Bureau will work closely with HKFA to assist as much as we can.”
Finally, it was agreed that a social responsibility seminar will be organised on AFC Women’s Football Day and the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018. The theme will be girls’ and women’s empowerment through football and more details will be released as they are confirmed.