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Inaugural AFC Child Safeguarding Seminar 2019 concludes in Thailand

Junior Soccer

The Asian Football Confederation’s commitment to protect the welfare and safety of children across the Continent marked a significant milestone with the first-ever AFC Child Safeguarding Seminar 2019 which concluded today in Chonburi, Thailand.

Held in conjunction with the ongoing AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019, the objective of the seminar was to expand the reach of the new FIFA Child Safeguarding Programme and Toolkit – FIFA Guardians – a major initiative launched by the world governing body in July this year aimed at assisting Member Associations and Confederations around the world to introduce stronger child safeguarding measures in football.

Organised in collaboration with the Football Association of Thailand (FA Thailand), more than 30 participants, including representatives from the eight participating Member Associations, local non-governmental organisations as well as clubs and academies were given the opportunity to widen their knowledge on the industry’s best practices from UNICEF Thailand.

AFC General Secretary, Dato’ Windsor John said: “Our children, our youth represent our future. The AFC has underlined our ambitions to use the power of football as a force for social development and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to cultivate a lifelong passion for the game in the best possible environment.

“Our success relies significantly on embarking on a shared journey together and I must thank FIFA, FA Thailand, UNICEF, our participating members and valued partners for their commitment towards strengthening the systems, structures and building a better, brighter, and above all, safer environment for our future generation of players.”

Containing practical guidance and support materials, the FIFA Guardians toolkit is based on “five principles and five steps” that are underpinned by internationally recognised standards in child safeguarding across sports.

Child safeguarding encompasses the prevention of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and maltreatment of children by everyone in the football ecosystem, including contractors, business partners, visitors to premises and volunteers.

Ms. Miyazaki Etsuko, Manager, Coach Education Group for the Japan Football Association (JFA) said: “Grassroots and youth football is growing rapidly in Japan, which ultimately raises the demand for JFA to ensure that the security and interest of our players are always protected.

“Today’s seminar has provided an excellent platform not only to gain insights from international experts, but as guardians of the game, it has also strengthened our resolve as one family to ensure child protection is given a louder voice and greater focus.”

Matildas draw record attendance in victory against Chile

Mere days after the huge announcement of equal pay between the Matildas and the Socceroos, the women have set another benchmark.

In their 2-1 win over Chile at the weekend, they drew the highest ever attendance for a women’s international match in Australian history.

20,029 fans flocked to the newly constructed Bankwest Stadium in Sydney to see Sam Kerr strut her stuff, bagging two goals as she lead her side to victory again.

After a disappointing few months following their early elimination from the Women’s World Cup earlier this year, the Matildas are well on their way to re-affirming their position as one of Australia’s strongest internationally represented teams.

The unceremonious sacking of Alen Stajcic also threw a major spanner in the works prior to the World Cup.

But Ante Milicic has done a fine job thus far. Success has seemed to follow the Matildas everywhere since that loss to Norway and this is not limited to on field performance.

The recent announcement of the equal pay agreement clearly is a landmark announcement and will hopefully spur the team on for the foreseeable future.

As we iterated in our article last week, let’s hope we can become the catalyst for a plethora of other countries to follow suit.

But today, the Matildas created another day to remember.

Being their first professional encounter following France, they had the fire in their bellies to do our country proud.

They certainly did that.

They’ve been an inspiration to so many people already, many of whom will hopefully be the next wave of aspiring superstars, both male and female.

With the equal pay agreement and more proof that people genuinely love watching them play at home, nothing seems to be able to stop them now.

And quite frankly, we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.

 

 

AusPlay survey reveals most active states and territories

Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay survey has shed some light on how people engage with sport and physical activity across the country, with the Australian Capital Territory posting some impressive results.

It was found that the ACT had the most active adults and during the course of 2018/19, 87.8 per cent of those from Canberra aged 15 or over participated in sport or physical activity at least once a week, which is more than the national rate of 82.3 per cent.

Of the Canberran adults that engaged in physical activity, more than two-thirds of those (69.1 per cent) participated at least three times a week.

Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer spoke about AusPlay as the survey which is completed by 20,000 Australians each year.

“The latest AusPlay results show that almost 13 million Australians (62.9 per cent) aged 15 or over participate in sport or physical activity at least three times a week. Almost 60 per cent of Australian children are active at least once a week in organised activities outside school,” she said.

“We want to see that increase because we know the physical, mental and social benefits that being active provides.

“Sport Australia’s national Find Your 30 campaign encourages all Australians to get active for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, the recommended activity levels for children are one hour a day, so that may be 30 minutes at school and 30 minutes at home.

“The Find Your 30 campaign is complemented by a suite of programs that encourages everyone to be active for life, from children to older Australians.

“The Australian Government’s national sport plan, Sport 2030, has set a long term goal for Australia to become the world’s most active and healthy nation. We have accomplished a lot so far, but there is far more to do if we are to continue to get Australia moving and achieve our vision.

“Sport Australia works hand in glove with sporting organisations and physical activity providers across the country to drive participation. No matter what state or territory you live in, there are endless options to be active. The key is finding something that you enjoy.”

On a broader scale, Victoria has the highest proportion of tennis players, New South Wales in swimming, Northern Territory in yoga, South Australia in netball, Western Australia in hockey, Tasmania in recreational walking, Queensland in rugby league and the ACT in football – showcasing the wide variety of sports people love.

AusPlay reveal that recreational walking continues to be the most popular activity across the nation, with almost nine million Australian adults taking part.

For more information about the survey results, you can find it here: https://www.sportaus.gov.au/media_centre/news/australias-most-active-states-and-territories-revealed

Equal pay for Matildas a win for the women’s game

In an announcement by Football federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has been reached which will close the pay gap between the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas.

It’s a new CBA that will last for the next four years which sees the Australian men’s and women’s national teams receive the same pay from revenues generated and progress in the FIFA World Cup – a massive win for current and aspiring Matildas.

As part of the four-year CBA, they will receive a 24% share of an agreed aggregate of National Team Generated Revenues in 2019/20, rising by 1% each year.

Within the 24%, all players will contribute 5% of the National Team Generated Revenue towards Australian Youth National Teams, which guarantees some form of investment for future generations of the Socceroos and Matildas.

This new agreement addresses gender equity in the game and will be the way forward to reward all players equally.

The Matildas will now have a three-tiered centralised contract system which recognises the country’s finest women’s players – Tier 1 Matildas will earn the same amount as the top Socceroos.

The new CBA has also allocated more World Cup prize money as an incentive for progressing throughout the tournament.

Players are now entitled to 40% of prize money when qualifying for a FIFA World Cup, going up from 30%. Should they make it to the Knockout Stages, that share of prize money increases to 50%.

The player share of AFC Asian Cup prize money will increase from 30% to 33%. If they go all the way to the AFC Asian Cup Final, the prize money share increases to 40%.

The new CBA has been announced to cover the next World Cup cycle for both the Caltex Socceroos and the Westfield Matildas.

FFA Chairman Chris Nikou spoke about the landmark agreement:

“Football is the game for everyone, and this new CBA is another huge step toward ensuring that we live the values of equality, inclusivity and opportunity,” he said.

“For the first time, player remuneration will be directly tied to the revenues generated by our National Teams – this will create a sustainable financial model that incentivises players and FFA to collaborate and grow the commercial pie together.

“This is truly a unique agreement. Every national team, from the Socceroos and Matildas, down to the Youth National Teams as well as the Cerebral Palsy National Teams have been contemplated in this new CBA.

“With this CBA, the next generation of aspiring Australian kids can see a pathway that offers a sustainable career, a chance to be an Olympian, and the lure of playing at a FIFA World Cup – regardless of your gender. It means whether you are a male or female, the value football places on your jersey is no different. We are proud to break this new ground in Australian and world sport.”

For more information about the CBA, you can find it here: https://www.ffa.com.au/news/historic-cba-close-footballs-gender-pay-gap

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