New research explains why football can have a very positive impact on the self-confidence of teenage girls, compared to other sports.
The study, conducted by UEFA and an elite group of specialists, looked into the effect football has on the psychological and emotional state of girls.
The research, which took place in Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey, looked at the impact football has on self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation and life skills compared to other sports.
As well as analysing existing data, the study was conducted with 4,128 young women and girls.
The most powerful message to emerge from the finding is that wherever they live, whatever their stage in the game, girls who play football are more confident than girls who don’t play sport but also girls who play football are more confident than girls who play other sports.
Our Women & Girls Age Group Manager Matt Clement, who led the Wales U15 Girls team to their recent Bob Docherty Cup win, said: "Football had provided a platform where the girls can express themselves, can challenge themselves and each other in a fear-free environment, developing them not only as footballers but as people.
"In particular, football has provided our girls with the environment to develop social skills, leadership skills.
"Football can give numerous skills to the girls such as social skills, confidence, Leadership skills, etc and each inidiviual benefits differently, but one thing that is the same for sure the girls give footbal everything"
- 80% of teenage girls felt more confident as a result of being part of their football team/club vs 74% who played other sports
- 54% young footballers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I am less concerned what others think about me as a result of playing my sport’ compared with 41% of those who played other sports
- 58% of the 13–17 year-old female footballers questioned said they had overcome a lack of self-confidence as a result of playing football, compared with - 51% of girls who play other sports;
- 48% said they are less self-conscious as a result of playing football, compared with 40% of those who play other sports;