Nadine Kessler was "really impressed" on a recent trip to Warsaw after seeing how Poland is benefiting from UEFA's Women's Football Development Programme.
"I'm really impressed," said UEFA Women's Football Development Ambassador Nadine Kessler after paying a visit to Warsaw to see how the Polish Football Association (PZPN) is inspiring girls to get involved.
The PZPN is one of a number of associations which have felt the benefits of the UEFA Women's Football Development Programme (WFDP). During the first full cycle of the programme (2012–16), UEFA gave each member association €100,000 a year to spend on women's football development. The PZPN decided to invest their money in three main areas: domestic women's competitions, coach education for women and raising the profile of the women's game, with the association's large-scale promotion attracting new sponsors as well as plenty of interest.
Former Germany international Kessler – who won the 2014 UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award and the corresponding FIFA honour – saw this in action in Warsaw. The 28-year-old said: "They have made it easier for girls to get into football, and meeting the girls, chatting and laughing with them and seeing how their eyes sparkle when they go out onto the pitch and do what they love, it makes me very happy."
The PZPN activities have been identified as examples of best practice to be replicated wherever possible. PZPN president Zbigniew Boniek explained: "The Polish FA works hand-in-hand with UEFA to develop women's football, increasing access to and participation in football among young girls across Poland, notably by strengthening the relationship between schools and clubs. It is very satisfying to see the impact of our collaborative efforts and we look forward to continuing to develop women's football throughout the country. We are honoured to be recognised by UEFA as a best practice example."
Special reports on the exemplary work undertaken in other countries around Europe – Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Germany, Hungary and Malta – will be published on UEFA.org throughout 2016/17.
Click on the video player above to watch Nadine's visit to Poland.