The International Football Institute is hosting an academic conference on women’s football.
Coinciding with the UEFA European Women’s Championship finals, the International Football Institute (IFI) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is hosting the UK’s first ever international academic conference dedicated to the subject of women’s football.
The event is being hosted in association with The FA and Sport England.
‘Women, Football and Europe’ will take place between 13-16 June at the University’s Preston Campus and draws together academic speakers from universities across Europe as well as other countries including Iran, Argentina, USA and Australia.
Academic topics include:
- Media representation of women in football.
- The history of women’s football in Iran.
- A report on a project based in northern Israel that uses football as a means of addressing conflict prevention and co-existence within a deeply divided society.
- How the economic legacy of Euro 2005 will benefit the North West of England.
- An examination of the legislation that prevents women from participating in men’s professional football.
A full list of the conference abstracts can be found here.
Conference organiser, UCLan’s Dr Jess Macbeth, said that women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports in Britain. "The number of women and girls playing football has increased considerably over recent years.
"The FA [can now claim] 131,000 registered female players and research showed that 1.4 million played some form of football in England alone in 2004.
"Women’s football has also become an emerging and exciting area of study at a global level and attracts a growing body of scholars from across various disciplines.
"This conference is the first of its kind to provide a forum that brings together academics, coaches, players, practitioners, media representatives and supporters of women’s football. The aim is to develop and expand existing knowledge of women’s football across Europe and internationally."
In addition to the academic stream, a populist stream will see keynote addresses from attendees such as Karen Espelund (Chair of UEFA Women’s Football Committee); Kelly Simmons (Head of Football Development, Football Association); and Sir Trevor Brooking (Director of Football Development, Football Association).
As part of the populist stream, BBC TV’s Sports Presenter Sue Thearle will compere a Celebration Dinner on 14 June, an event attended by invited guests from across Europe and beyond. Special guests will include players from the Preston-based Dick, Kerr Ladies Team, who were the unofficial world champions from the 1920s to the 1950s.
A practical stream, run in association with The FA and Sport England sponsored Euro 2005 Legacy Programme, will take place at UCLan’s Preston Sport Arena. It will include elite coaching sessions and coaching sessions for girls with and without disabilities.
An insight into the role of refereeing will be offered in ‘whistle while you work’, a fun and interactive session run by seven regional referee managers employed by The FA. The aim of the session is to give women the chance to get a taste for refereeing.
The FA’s Head of Football Development Kelly Simmons said: "Some of the most talented players in the world will be displaying their skills at Women’s Euro 2005, but we want to make sure that the event is not just about two weeks of elite international football.
"So we are delighted that the IFI conference contains such a comprehensive programme of events that will appeal to not only the academic community but also to anyone else with an interest in women’s football."
Practical Sessions - Wednesday 15 June 2005
9.30am - 12.30pm (Registration 9.00am - 9.30am)
"Inclusion in Girls Football"
The session is aimed at those involved and interested in coaching girls with and without a disability, concentrating on fun and informal structures, offering a basic introduction to the game with the overall objective of focusing on ability, achieving inclusion and football for all.
This session will be run by Steve Daley (Sports Development Officer, Preston City Council and Captain of England Partially Sighted Squad) and Steve Johnston (Football Development Officer, Everton Football Club and Captain of England Amputee Squad) both of whom are tutors on the Football Association’s ‘Coaching Disabled Football’ course.
1.30pm - 4.30pm (Registration 1.00pm - 1.30pm)
"Whistle while you work"
An insight into the role of refereeing will be offered in this fun and interactive session run by seven FA Regional Referee Managers. The aim of the session is to give people the chance to get a taste for refereeing and to encourage more people to get involved.
Sessions will be held at Preston Sports Arena. To book your place please contact Emma Woodward (Conference and Events Management) on 01772 892654 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.