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Set to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup next year, Jordanian football is looking on the tournament as a chance to take another step forward towards an exciting future. With a year still to go before the competition gets under way, the country’s footballing community is already beginning to reap the rewards of hosting the tournament by training the people who will nurture and develop young female players.
Jordan hosted its second women’s football coaching course in the capital Amman from 8-12 September 2015. Organised by FIFA in conjunction with the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Jordanian Football Association, the course was supervised by former England player and coach Hope Powell, with 24 Physical Education teachers taking part.
The participants attended several talks Powell gave over the five-day event, and showed their willingness to learn by asking numerous questions and forming working groups that were given the task of setting up training courses for the young women in their charge.
A first step
--> “It’s important to engage with this group of women because they can make the link with a large number of young girls, all of which could maximise the benefits,” Powell told FIFA.com after giving one of her last talks. “I think that coaching football through PE teachers will be a success.
“We can pass on all the basic information to these teachers and create widespread awareness. In turn, they will have to coach their students in a specific way, which will help girls learn to enjoy playing the game and allay their fears.”
She added: “The first step is often the hardest, but I think that the participants have got a lot out of these sessions and have picked up information they can add to the things they already know. It was a new challenge for me and for the participants and I hope we’ll see more of these sessions in the future.”
“The U-17 Women’s World Cup will encourage young women to come into closer contact with the game. The tournament could yield benefits for many years to come and help lay a broad base for women’s football in Jordan.”
Picking up experience
--> “We’ve had no problems at all in communicating with Hope Powell,” Lara Habahbeh, the head of sports at Jordan’s Ministry of Education, said. “She has presented all the information in a clear and straightforward manner and I think we have learned something.”
After taking in a talk focusing on sport and medical aspects, she added: “We were concerned that there might be a big gap between us and Powell because she is a women’s football professional, while we are PE teachers who only have a basic grasp of football. Young women rarely choose to play the sport during their university studies, but they signed up in number for these sessions and showed a lot of energy and love for the game in taking part.”
She continued: “We at the Ministry of Education take a special interest in women’s football. We organise a lot of competitions throughout the year for different age groups (U-12, U-15 and U-18), and in training teachers we can bring more people into the game and improve their technical skills, all while working on their basic ability.
“These intensive sessions will be really beneficial for young women, and not just the participants, as they can pass on information to their colleagues and help develop women’s football.”
Broadening the base
--> Also giving her views on the course was former Jordan international Abeer Rantisi, now the head of women’s football at the Jordanian FA, who said that the sessions reflected a desire to promote the women’s game across the country, with other such events due to be staged in the near future, also with the support of FIFA.
“The goal of these sessions is to widen the foundations of women’s football, with PE teachers playing a central role, as they are in contact with large numbers of young women,” Rantisi said. “If they can pick up the basics, it will allow young women to learn the game the right way and to have no fear about playing it.
“As a result, we’ll be able to bring through more talent for the national team and guarantee continuity for many years to come.”