SheFootball festival to encourage Nigerian girls to take up football

Over 300 youth are taking part in a two-week long festival aimed at encouraging and inspiring more girls to take part in football, currently underway in Lagos, Nigeria. 

SheFootball is a annual festival, organised by Fare Board Member and former Nigeria Super Falcons Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire in partnership with the Nigeria Football Coaches' Association, comprised of a football tournament, tennis and volleyball matches, educational talks and workshops, targeted to the youth.

The festival kicked-off on 8 January with a panel discussion on women's football and the cultural barriers around the game at the Lagos National Stadium. Speakers included a mix of former and current Nigeria women's national team players, such as Florence Omagbemi, Ann Chiejine and Asisat Lamina Oshoala MON, as well as Cameroonian Female Football Association founder Yvonne Mballa and assistant coach Bernadette Anong and was moderated by the female sports journalist Adeyinka Akintunde.

About the festival, Yusuf-Aromire said: "SheFootball is a campaign that wants to create more awareness, motivate and empower young girls to get involved in football. It also wants to let women in Nigerian football know that there is someone out there who cares about them and wants to help them achieve their dreams and further their careers."

This year, the festival is backed by Fare and organised in cooperation with the Fare member Monaliiku.

The Beijing 2008 Olympian went on to reiterate her desire to continue the campaign for as long as possible.

"I hope to continue working on this project for as long as I'm alive. I appreciate the involvement of Monaliiku and sincerely appreciate Fare network's support and funding which is helped increase the capacity of this festival." said Yusuf-Aromire.

In 2016, nearly 300 youth joined the activities, a number which the organised ensure will grow this year with the heightened support of new local schools.

The festival will come to an end on Sunday 21 January with a match between the organising team and tournament's winner. A series of activities, such as face painting, freestyle football demonstrations, will also take place on the day.

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