The Aviva Soccer Sisters Virtual Skills Hub programme for 2021 will take place over the first week of the Easter schools break and will once again be free of charge for girls to take part in.
The free online initiative was launched yesterday by Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team player Áine O’Gorman as part of Aviva’s Safe To Dream Team campaign.
The Soccer Sisters Camp will work alongside the FAI’s Football For All programme for the first time, providing skills videos inclusive of children with additional needs to develop as footballers.
The skills videos include adaptions developed by FAI Football for All development officers to ensure the online hub is inclusive for all.
The first 1,000 parents to register for the Safe To Dream team and upload a video of their child partaking in the virtual skills hub, will also receive a free Aviva Soccer Sisters backpack.
Research commissioned by Aviva in February of this year underlines the importance of providing coaching and support services for children across Ireland.
Some 33% of Irish parents agree that their childrens’ coaches have been a source of encouragement or inspiration for them, and 23% feel that they need some help with appropriate skills and techniques to help their children continue to pursue their sporting dreams.
The research also highlighted that while 54% of Irish children don’t mention any distinction between male and female sports, only 37% of Irish children have a female sporting role model.
Only 25% of Irish adults have brought their children to a women’s game, compared to 53% for a men’s game. It is similar to watching sport on TV with 63% of Irish adults agreeing that their children watch men’s sport on tv but only 40% saying the same for women’s sport.
With one-third of Irish parents concerned their daughter will drop out of sport as they enter their teenage years, the research highlights the need for increased support for women’s sport, particularly during adolescence in Ireland.
“It has never been more important to provide a platform for young girls to learn and develop new skills,” said Áine O’Gorman.
“It has been a very difficult period for everyone, and I know children across the country cannot wait to return to training and enjoy their football. With the launch of the Aviva Safe To Dream team Soccer Sisters new skills videos, I am really looking forward to seeing young girls all over the country getting involved and sharing their own videos.”
“The research released today highlights that nearly one in four parents feel that they need some help with appropriate skills and techniques to help their child continue to pursue their sporting dreams,” said Lisa Bergin, Aviva Sponsorship Manager.
“Working alongside the FAI’s Football For All programme, we have created a range of new skills videos inclusive of children with additional needs to develop as footballers. As proud supporters of grassroots football in Ireland, we are delighted to support parents nationwide by creating a safe space, where children of all abilities can pursue their dreams.”
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