Women’s Champions League final to build legacy for women’s football in Italy

With the UEFA Women's Champions League (WCL) final set to unfold today in Reggio Emilia, Italy, activities across the country have been seizing the opportunity to promote the game among youngsters and further its growth.

In partnership with the Italian Players Union, Fare founding member UISP has been visiting schools and grassroots clubs in Italy to talk about women's football and promote the participation of girls in the sport through tournaments and football sessions. Only in April, UISP representatives visited schools in Parma, Bologna and Reggio Emilia. Children from all participating schools will be invited to attend the WCL final.

UISP's GOL initiative (G.O.L. – Generi Oltre I Limiti) is a season-long campaign launched in October 2015 as part of the Football People action weeks.

In the build up to the final, the Italian Football Association (FIGC) also organised a series of initiatives looking to develop the women's game and increase opportunities for women in football in Italy.

In early May, FIGC organised a “Women’s Football Week” in schools across the country. Activities included local school visits by the Italian women's under-17 and women's futsal teams as well as other prominent figures.

In Reggio Emilia, FIGC held a contest for local schoolchildren to produce banners and other artwork ahead of the WCL quarter-finals and organised activities in the main square.

Building on the success of previous seasons, the Calcio+ initiative continued to be promoted in the 2015-2016 season to encourage women's football across the country at U-15 level by involving young players in a national tournament that also offers elite coaching and careers advice.

Hours before the final a “Women’s Grassroots Festival” will be held in the “Taddei” sports center in Reggio Emilia bringing together local schools and the team that reached the final of the FIGC school tournament “Road to the final” to celebrate women's football.

The events are helping to build a legacy on women's football in Italy, who will be hosting the WCL final for the first time.

Commenting on the matter, UEFA Women's Champions League final ambassador Patrizia Panico said: "I hope from the final onwards, lots of hard work will go into women's football on a constant basis because our sport deserves a higher standing."

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