UEFA backs European Women and Sport event

UEFA is taking part in a leading forum for women's sport, the 2011 European Women and Sport conference in London, as it continues its efforts to raise the profile of female football.

Sonia Bompastor (left) shields the ball from Sweden forward Josefine Öqvist
Sonia Bompastor (left) shields the ball from Sweden forward Josefine Öqvist ©Getty Images

UEFA is a key participant in the 2011 European Women and Sport conference at Grange City in London from 15 to 18 September.

UEFA's support for EWS2011, a joint event with the Council of Europe through EPAS (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport) which brings together sports leaders and opinion formers from across Europe, underlines the status of the conference as a leading forum for women's sport.

The EWS2011 agenda is aimed at sports federations, athletes, coaches and governments, and invites world-renowned researchers to debate and celebrate women in sport. The conference will explore, among other things, the commercial value of women's sport, high performance coaching culture and women's contribution to medal success.

Confirmed speakers include Androulla Vasilliou, European Commissioner for Sport, Sir Philip Craven MBE, president of the International Paralympic Committee, and William Gaillard, adviser to the UEFA president.

UEFA is continuing a concerted drive to raise the profile and promotion of women's football, in conjunction with its 53 member associations. At its meeting in Prague last December, the UEFA Executive Committee noted the huge growth in the European women's game, in terms of both registered players and participation, and agreed to support the UEFA Women's Football Development Programme (WFDP) via a yearly payment of €100,000 to every association between 2012 and 2016. These payments will come from UEFA's HatTrick III assistance scheme.

In February, the women's football development workshop, held under the auspices of UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), was attended by more than 50 UEFA member associations and addressed a broad palette of issues relating to women's football, which has experienced continued upwards momentum in recent years.

The KISS programme forms part of the HatTrick scheme, which benefits the associations and is administered by the UEFA national associations division.

Women's football development is now part of the national associations division's remit, and women's football is a key area for the innovative UEFA Study Group Scheme – whereby associations share technical information and know-how through a comprehensive series of visits to each other for seminars and discussions.