Inaugural FAI Women's Football Convention takes place
The inaugural event was attended by delegates who represent clubs and leagues in schoolgirls and women's football, as well as stakeholders from across the game.
The convention was established for the first time following the full integration of women's football into the structures of the FAI, with the establishment of the FAI Women's Football Committee and the Women's Regional Football Committees. Previously the female game was run under the auspices of the Women's Football Association of Ireland.
Amongst the keynote speakers at the convention were Noel Mooney from UEFA, who delivered a strong presentation on UEFA’s marketing campaign for Women’s Football - Together #WePlayStrong.
The campaign, which was launched in June, focuses on driving participation levels and reducing drop-out rates through six key pillars:
- Strong local participation
- Changing the image of women's football
- Using new types of content to engage females
- Using new media channels
- Working with sponsor partners to expand the programme's reach
- Supporting each National Association through extensive toolkits
The English FA's National Women’s Football Participation Manager Rachel Pavlou shared her experiences of her country’s successful growth and retention of female players.
FAI CEO John Delaney, who is the deputy chairman on UEFA's Women's Football Committee, addressed the delegates outlining the support of the Association for the growth and ongoing development of the women's game, and the commitment of the FAI has to providing female players in Ireland with the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Delegates were informed about the development of the women's game since the full integration of women's football into the structures of the FAI, which has seen the establishment of the FAI Women's Football Committee and eight Regional Football Committees, made up of stakeholders from all strands of the game.
FAI Head of Women’s of Football Sue Ronan revealed her department's ambitions for the female game and delegates approved the appointment of 20 members to the Women's Football Appeals Committee pool.
FAI Board Member Niamh O'Donoghue said: "We're delighted to bring together representatives of women's and schoolgirls football in Ireland to the first FAI Women's Football Convention.
"It has been very helpful to have Noel Mooney from UEFA and Rachel Pavlou from the FA share their experiences. We are also delighted that FAI CEO John Delaney opened the Convention, the integration of women's football into the mainstream structures of the FAI was led by him."