How the FIFA Women’s World Cup will help kids through schools programme

More than 14,000 students are set to participate in a schools programme that uses the context of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to learn about culture and collective identity.

Called Kōtuitui, the programme is for primary and intermediate school students and includes classroom learning activities and football/futsal experiences. It runs through terms 2, 3 and 4 this year.

To launch the programme, New Zealand Football president Dr Johanna Wood, CEO Andrew Pragnell and Ford Football Fern Claudia Bunge joined the Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson, FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 COO Jane Patterson, Sport New Zealand CEO Raelene Castle, and the students of Tui Glen School to celebrate the programme.

Main photo: Football Fern Claudia Bunge with students of Tui Glen School. Photo credit: NZ Football.

The classroom learning activities are linked to the Te Ao Tangata Social Sciences (including Aotearoa New Zealand Histories) curriculum by using the FIFA Women’s World Cup as the context for students to learn about New Zealand’s bicultural and multicultural societies, and how to connect with one another.

They will also learn about how hosting major events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup can help to shape New Zealand’s culture and collective identity, and classroom learning culminates in the ākonga putting their learning into practice by organising a World Cup.

Programme combines classroom with games

For the football or futsal experiences, local football clubs or federations will provide ākonga (students) with a six-week programme delivered on the grass or court, which includes bicultural and multicultural football/futsal games that complement the classroom learning.

The games were developed by New Zealand Football with Oceania Football Confederation and Māori Football Aotearoa’s Phill Pickering-Parker.

Dr Johanna Wood … ‘we want our game to be the most inclusive sport in New Zealand.’

“Our goal at New Zealand Football is for our game to be the most inclusive sport in New Zealand, and for our members to have enjoyable experiences that will foster a lifelong love of the beautiful game,” New Zealand Football President Dr Johanna Wood said.

The programme will have a significant impact in the schools space, says Shane Verma, New Zealand Football Community Pathways Manager and Kōtuitui project lead.

“Where Kōtuitui is particularly special is that it harnesses how communities express their culture and identities through football and futsal. The programme provides tamariki and ranagtahi with new ways to get physically active while learning about and connecting with their communities,” he says.

“It’s also a great way to strengthen communities and connections between schools and their local football clubs, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience football or futsal.”

‘A great example of how our communities can connect’

The connections developed through the Kōtuitui programme will be one of the legacies of co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup, says Paula Hansen, New Zealand Football General Manager of WWC, Legacy and Inclusion at New Zealand Football.

“Developed as part of New Zealand Football’s leverage and legacy plan Aotearoa United: Legacy Starts Now, Kōtuitui is a great example of how our communities can connect through football and futsal, and celebrate their cultures.

“We’re looking forward to seeing more rangatahi and tamariki connecting with each other and learning about themselves and their communities through Kōtuitui’s in-classroom activities as well as the bicultural and multicultural games.”

Kōtuitui also sits alongside FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023’s classroom education programme Beyond The Pitch.

About Kōtuitui

Kōtuitui is an outcome of Aotearoa United: Legacy Starts Now, New Zealand Football’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 leverage and legacy plan.

Kōtuitui was developed under the plan’s Tiaki | People and Places pou | pillar.

READ MORE: Aotearoa United: Legacy Starts Now >>>>

Kōtuitui was developed in partnership with Sport New Zealand (as part of its education project In Our Backyard) and supported by Māori Football Aotearoa.

READ MORE: Find out more about Kōtuitui, including classroom learning activities and to register for football/futsal experiences >>>>

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