The Chelsea Foundation marked International Women’s Day on 8 March with a variety of activities at our International Development Centres and Soccer Schools across Asia to celebrate the participation and involvement of women in football.
At the same time as we celebrated International Women’s Day in England our International Development Centre in Singapore got into the spirit of the occasion by organising an event for young female footballers from United World College South East Asia East CAMPUS (UWCSEA), the home school of our IDC in Singapore.
In the build-up to International Women’s Day, the Foundation was also involved in a Women’s Football Networking Afternoon, with football development officer James Hagerty appearing as a guest panellist.
The Foundation also extended its support to the Singapore under-15 women’s team by organising a friendly match for them against our IDC team. The 11-a-side match was attended by parents and supporters of the Singapore women’s team and proved good preparation for them ahead of an international tournament which they will host later this month.
‘Having established ourselves in Singapore since the opening of the International Development Centre in September 2017, we are focusing strongly on providing equal opportunities for every member of the community to work with our expert coaches at our first-class facility,’ said Hagerty.
‘Hosting multiple events around International Women's Day shows our commitment to equality within football and provides a platform for females to get involved in playing the sport with us here in Singapore.’
At the Chelsea FC International Development Centre in Bangkok, international development coach Jodie Whitford-Stark spent International Women’s Day promoting the beautiful game to women and girls of all ages and abilities at two schools in the Thai capital.
It proved an eye-opening experience for the 24-year-old UEFA B License holder, who is the first female Chelsea FC Foundation coach to work overseas on one of our long-term programmes.
She said: ‘It was great to be part of International Women’s Day in Bangkok. I think it’s really important to enable everyone to have the same opportunities regardless of gender.’
Finally, the Chelsea FC Soccer School Hong Kong marked the occasion by inviting three generations of women to take part in a special activity at the Kwun Tong indoor pitch.
‘We invited women from our elderly programme (aged 50+) and players from our female youth programme (U-13) to join in with our CFC SS HK ladies’ team training,’ said international development officer Steve O’Reilly.
‘The sessions were led by Chelsea FC Foundation staff from the UK, alongside five local Soccer School coaches – three of whom are female. During the session we integrated all age groups by playing fun, interactive games which developed physical, technical and mental attributes.
‘The evening was a huge success with everybody enjoying themselves integrating with different generations through football to celebrate women around the world.’