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Empowering women’s football through Coach Education Scholarships


Apr 2, 2024

LAST UPDATED: Apr 2, 2024

To further support women’s football worldwide, FIFA has provided 14 Coach Education Scholarships for aspiring female coaches in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The scholarships were backed by Xero as part of its global women’s football partnership with FIFA, and ongoing commitment to support the growth of the game and uplift the wahine involved.

The 14 female coaches took the first steps on their coaching pathways this month when they joined a female-only OFC C Licence course in Auckland. The course, run by New Zealand Football, took place from 22-25 March at Bruce Pulman Park.

Xero Country Manager Bridget Snelling says supporting this initiative is an important part of Xero’s wider mission to encourage growth of the game and support the women who make it what it is.

“There’s no denying that coaches have a monumental impact on their team and the wider community. With only five percent of coaches being women, it’s clear more support is needed to uplift our female coaches and provide them with the resources and guidance they need to excel.

“We see this as a crucial area for further growth for women’s football and we are so proud to be a part of it,” says Snelling.

Annalie Longo, Women’s Development Manager at NZ Football says, “One of New Zealand Football’s strategic priorities is about strengthening capability and leadership across women’s football. Part of this is building club capability but it’s primarily to be able to create an environment to develop female talent.”

Having a female-only C Licence course is about building the base and then having the right support structures in place to help our female coaches progress through their coaching journey. Our priority is removing as many barriers to entry as possible so that female coaches are appropriately supported – which is crucial for building and developing the game.

FIFA Head of Women’s Football Development, Arijana Demirovic, explained that FIFA’s Coach Education Scholarships are provided to empower more female coaches to gain further coaching qualifications. 

“In May 2021, FIFA launched the Coach Education Scholarship Programme as part of an ongoing commitment to increase opportunities within football for female coaches. Through this programme, FIFA aims to create a network of coaches and ultimately increase the number of female coaches in football.”

Xero and FIFA Women’s Football will continue to work together to support the growth of the game.

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