Namibian women football on the rise

under-20.JPG

Women football has been on the rise for the past five years in Namibia thanks to support by FIFA and various developmental partners of the Namibia Football Association (NFA).

As of 2006 Namibian women’s football was played informally and with a few teams but the dawn of the new era came by November 2006 as FIFA granted Namibia the honour to host the Football Seminar for South & East Africa Countries to discuss, elaborate and share best practices and establish a plan of action to develop the women’s game.

That platform set a strong foundation for Namibia’s women football as they took the recommendations of the seminar as well as those contained in related FIFA documentations and robustly implemented.

The local FA then fast-tracked the operationalization of the Women’s Desk at the NFA with guidance from FIFA Regional Development Office.

These cornerstones, brought about enviable growth of women football Namibia as the country now boast six senior regional women’s leagues and a youth structure including the award winning Galz & Goals programme for girls aged between nine and 15 as well as organised football at under Elite Level and grassroots level.

National teams exist at all levels, competing in international competitions at under-13, 16, 20 and senior level.

The Women Super league consists of six top teams and a total 180 registered players, who compete on four-round basis to more and better competition, while the Caprivi Women’s League, Omusati Women’s League, Kavango Women’s League, Kunene Women’s League and Karas Women’s League –officially supported by FIFA boost a number of 42 teams with 1,260 registered players.

There are nine NFA Galz & Goals Regional Youth leagues for under-13 and under 15 girls in Karas, Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Kavango and Kunene regions with about 1, 600 registered players. www.facebook.com/galzandgoals.

Close links have been established with government, educational, development and health organisations to ensure that the game of football in Namibia can provide a safe and sound environment for girls and women to develop, with a holistic approach. Some of the notable partners of women football in Namibia, apart from FIFA, are SPAR Supermarket, UNICEF and the German Football Federation (DFB).

The NFA women desk has thus far trained 412 coaches in the NFA Basic Coaching Certificate, including an integrated life skills and health education programme by the FIFA Women Football Instructor Jacqui Shipanga.

And for the future, the NFA aims to make significant progress across all of its five focus areas of Senior and junior leagues to increase; Cup competitions to increase from one Junior U/15 Cup and one Senior Cup to at least two per year for each categories; Human resources development(Coaches to do advance Level Courses Through FIFA Supported Courses, Referees Department to Recruit More Female Referees, Administration Courses Through FIFA Support Courses); Continuous Grassroots football rollout and Capacity building (leadership).