Week-long spotlight on women’s football in Tahiti

Mataiea

Raising awareness of the myriad of activities and opportunities available to women in clubs across French Polynesia is the main objective of La Semaine du Football Féminin, or Women’s Football Week, running from 26 May to 6 June.

The inaugural edition has 12 clubs confirmed to participate, the districts of Rimartara and Raiatea, and includes clubs in the Marquesas Islands of Nuku-Hiva and Fatu-Hiva.

Rimatara held their event in two phases, and a little early, over the 24 to 26 May, with phase one an initiation to football attracting 80 of the islands’ young people, while phase two was the organisation of a women’s football tournament.

Local organisers said the event was an opportunity to gauge interest from the community in women’s football, with the expectation they are well placed to eventually launch future competitions aimed exclusively for women and girls.

In the lead up to La Semaine du Football Féminin, clubs on Raiatea and Nuku Hiva both leveraged the FIFA Live Your Goals programme to introduce women and girls in their communities to the beautiful game.

At Stade communal de Avera, l’AS TNT FC held a half-day of activities promoting and developing women’s football among Raitatea’s young people.

A club representative said it was an hugely successful introduction.

“All morning we had a lot of unregistered players and a lot of young girls from 11 to 13 years old. This first edition of the Live Your Goals festival was facilitated by players from the AS TNT FC women’s team.”

In the Marqueses Islands, almost 50 young girls between 5 and 15 years old took part in the Live Your Goals festival hosted on Nuku Hiva. At the same time, three clubs received badges for their Women’s Football Schools. Jeunesse Marquisienne received a Silver badge, while Hoata Nui and Taiohae Nui both received Bronze.

It’s the second Live Your Goals festival to be held in the Marquesas Islands after Ua Pou hosted one in late-February.

Frédéric Balch, Ua Pou school of football manager, said the goal of the day was to attract girls to football, discover the game and enjoy it.

“We wanted to bring together as many girls as possible from 5 to 13 years old,” he said.

Back on Tahiti, the activities have been ramping up this week, with AS Tefana hosting an inter-generational women’s football tournament, as well as a club open day.

Other clubs, AS Papara, AS Tapuhute, AS Mira and AS Central Sport among others, are also hosting open days, and the federation is running a competition on its Facebook page in support of the La Semaine du Football Féminin.

All photos credit: FTF

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