The Playmakers Scheme, a European-wide grassroots initiative, will use coaching sessions inspired by Disney films and features its characters to creatively provide a pathway into the sport for girls aged between five and eight.
This new opportunity represents one of the first major initiatives launched by UEFA since it revealed its ‘Time for Action’ women’s soccer strategy in 2019, aiming to double women’s soccer participation by 2024.
The European scheme comes partly as a result of a knowledge-transfer agreement between UEFA and the Football Association (FA), England’s national body, which already runs a similar Shooting Stars project in collaboration with Disney.
UEFA’s Head of Women’s Soccer, Nadine Kessler has been the main spokesperson behind the scheme.
“Playmakers can attract girls who might not have had any contact with football at all, or might be generally not very active,” she said.
“Our ultimate goal is first of all to get them active and to learn different kinds of movement before the football comes in. But we would be very, very happy if the girls are that inspired and that in love with the game that they wish to continue their route.”
Nicole Morse, Disney’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has also contributed to getting this program off the ground.
“By using our much-loved characters and stories as a force for good, we can really make a difference and inspire families and children to be more active,” she said.
It showcases the wonderful rise and continual popularity of the women’s game that a big organisation such as Disney want to collaborate their ideas.
The depth of talent will only get stronger with programs such as these that will make young girls and women strive towards the big leagues and competitions on the world stage.