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Sports for Development

Technology for Development

 

Galz & Goals

© UNICEFNamibia/2013/Sinclair

Empowering young girls through football and healthy lifestyles games

What is the initiative about?

Launched towards the end of 2009, Galz & Goals is the first national project of its kind. Through the Namibian Football Association’s women’s desk dedicated under-13 and under-15 girls football leagues have been established across the nation. Through the leagues , girls are able to play organized football on a weekly basis and partake in  healthy lifestyles activities and health information sessions. The leagues are run by volunteer coaches recruited from the respective community. Girls are attracted and retained into the programme through festivals and special events. Talented girls can be scouted and  participate in high-profile international competitions.

Who are we targeting?

Although football is by far the most popular sport in Namibia, there is a lack of opportunities for young girls to partake in organized sports. In addition women and young girls are disproportional affected by the HIV epidemic. Galz & Goals targets girls from the ages of 10-14. As one of the motto’s of the programme states: “girls can play too!”

What do we want to see?

We would like to see girls given the space to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing environment and to enjoy themselves through the sport of football. We know that young girls are at a particular sensitive and crucial phase of their development, as they make their way from childhood to adolescence. Thus, it is especially important to support the girls to navigate through this tricky stage of their lives so they can grow into confident, self-respecting and responsible women. In this respect, the Galz & Goals project is about much more than just playing soccer!

What has been achieved?

Since G&G launch at the end of 2009 around 2,600 girls have been exposed to the programme and healthy lifestyle activities through football festivals while 1,500 girls now regularly play in the Galz & Goals league. G&G leagues are currently conducted in 6 regions across the country.

International recognition

In the last quarter of 2010, the Galz & Goals initiative gained international recognition when it was awarded the ‘Sporting Federation of the Year’ award at the Beyond Sports Summit in Chicago. Receiving the renowned S4D award has raised the profile of the initiative at both the national and international levels.

In addition the initiative has managed to attract much needed funding from various donors.

 

 
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