UEFA and Disney are encouraging more girls to play football with Playmakers, a storytelling initiative which communicates the fun of physical exercise and football by encouraging roleplay as popular Incredibles 2 characters such as Elastigirl, Violet and Dash.
This sees the animated Pixar heroes demonstrate teamwork, movement and imagination as part of efforts to build confidence in their young audience by building basic football skills.
Playmakers builds on academic research confirming the powerful role storytelling plays in shaping young minds by nudging inactive 5-8-year-old girls to take up physical activity, with just 16% currently meeting minimum standards as set by the World Health Organisation.
The initiative will roll out across schools, clubs and local communities across Scotland, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Romania, and Serbia initially
Nadine Kessler, UEFA head of women’s football, said: “If you’re going to teach football through the power of storytelling and play, you have to do it with the best stories and characters in the world, and Disney is the perfect partner for this.
“By taking that Disney magic, and implementing the first-ever pan-European girls’ grassroots football programme, we will give any girl the best possible opportunity to fall in love with football.”
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin added: “It is UEFA’s duty as European football’s governing body to empower girls to play the game. Through this partnership with Disney, we will open up football to an audience not yet engaged with our sport.”