The UEFA Disney Playmakers Programme is back for a second year and it promises to be bigger and better with 55 clubs nationwide set to be involved.

Designed to engage young girls aged 5-8 years old who are not currently playing football, the initiative aims to inspire them to make friends, exercise regularly, learn life skills and develop a lifelong love of football through the magic of Disney’s world-renowned storytelling.

Since being rolled out last year, the programme has been hailed as a significant success with more than 800 girls from 30 different clubs taking part in sessions across the country.

Unlike traditional football programmes, each of UEFA Playmaker’s 10 training sessions follows the narrative of a popular Disney film.

With a new season launching this month, girls across the Republic of Ireland will become one of the first to emulate the adventurous teenager Moana, the title character of Disney’s much-loved animated movie. Disney’s Moana becomes the latest franchise to be transformed into the world of UEFA Playmakers, alongside Disney and Pixar’s global box office smash hit Incredibles 2 and Disney’s Frozen 2.

In preparation for this year’s Programme, over 80 coaches have received specialised training with 55 clubs signed up to help introduce girls to football in a fun environment.

“It is fantastic to launch the second year of the UEFA Disney Playmakers Programme,” said Pearl Slattery, FAI Programme Coordinator for Women’s Football.

“It was a huge success in 2021 and we expect to have an even greater impact in 2022.”

“When we see clubs like Kinsealy United going from having no girls involved to now running girl’s teams, it’s clear that the UEFA Disney Playmakers Programme is a brilliant gateway to get girls playing football and having fun doing so.

“The interactive elements of the Programme allow us to develop coaches as much as players which, in turn, is helping us to strengthen girls’ and women’s football throughout the country. We are looking forward to rolling out this Programme to even more clubs this year.”

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team internationals Jess Ziu and Emily Whelan acted as ambassadors to help launch the Programme for 2022.



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