International Women´s Football Workshop in Cologne

The Olympic Study Centre and the Sports Department of Cologne invited four NGOs to participate in the first International Women Football Workshop in Cologne from 23rd to 29th of May, 2022.

The idea of the project was to connect NGOs all following the same motto and target: “Girls football is building a bridge to education; empowering women through sports in a male dominated surrounding.” Representatives from the NGOs Right To Play– Bethlehem, Palestine; “Girls Unlimited” – Nairobi, Kenia and “Bola para Frente” – Rio, Brasil were hosted for one week in Cologne. The workshop group was completed by representatives of the local NGO “Scoring Girls” from Cologne and the football club “Vorwärts Spoho 98 e.V.”

Students of the international study programme “M.A. International Sport Development and Politics” who were participating in the workshops discussed the presentations together with the international guests. Girls' football has been identified as a valuable tool to empower young girls and women, especially in terms of education and personal skills development. The work of the women from the different countries shows how education through sport and development in cooperation with sport can be practically implemented and thus contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the points 'Quality Education', 'Gender Equity' and 'Reduced Inequalities'.

By bringing together local NGOs from all over the world, new partnerships and networks for the future were born, which have sustainable value for all involved. Over the next years, the cooperation will continue with several ongoing projects regarding topics such as infrastructural and educational improvements.