Africa: CAF At the Forefront of Women's Football and Training of its Administrators

Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) organized two seminars via videoconference, from 22 - 24 and 29 - 31 March 2021, to strengthen the capacities of women's football administrators.

Women's football is one of CAF top priorities

The aim of the workshop was to inform, educate and increase the managerial expertise of staff in charge of women's football in all CAF Member Associations. Opening the workshop, CAF Deputy General Secretary in charge of Football and Development Anthony Baffoe highlighted that "management is an essential pillar of success".

In the light of activities initiated several months ago, CAF - through its dedicated Women's Football Development Department - organized a first online seminar from 22 to 24 March, that focused on capacity building for female football administrators.

"This webinar is important for the continuity of our work on CAF women's football strategy. You know all the key elements of this strategy, namely development, competitions, marketing and promotion. Then we have professionalization and leadership, and social impact. But how do you become a good manager of women's football? ". A question to which Anthony Baffoe provided some answers, citing, among others, discipline, time management, sharing information with the team and stimulating creativity as essential in the process.

The work, led by FIFA experts such as Karl Lines (leadership expert), Sue Ronan Martin (former player and coach) and Emy Casaletti-Bwalya (marketing consultant), focused on leadership, strategic planning combined with project management, marketing and sponsorship.

The three-day event brought together a range of women's football administrators from different Member Associations, specifically football officers, women's football managers, department heads and heads of women's football committees.

In addition, zonal unions were also invited to participate with an average of 75 participants per day.

The second seminar, which was held from 29 to 31 March, was intended to consolidate the learning outcomes of last November's training on the menstrual cycle, its four phases and their management through nutrition. It should be remembered that CAF was the first Confederation to address the issue of the female athletes, and the first to provide training on this subject.

"It was important that, we as a Confederation, were the first to launch this initiative. The players management is a crucial issue, especially in our continent where we do not like to tackle certain subjects. This will help the players to advance and have a better understanding," said Baffoe. "I encourage all our coaches across the continent, especially men who coach women's teams, to participate in such webinars to improve their knowledge."

The webinar was hosted by sports science experts, namely Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, science researcher at Orreco Bio-Analytics and Eva Woods, athletic therapist, and women's health coach for Chelsea FC Women. The two speakers gave presentations on the different stages of the female athlete's life cycle, including puberty, pre- and post-partum period, peri-menopause and menopause.

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