Football’s national body has released a 34-page report outlining the legacy benefits of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the sport in New Zealand.
The report spells out the ways in which the Aotearoa United – Legacy Starts Now programme has helped the sport through:
- Participation by players.
- Upgraded facilities.
- Opportunities for elite and aspiring players.
- Partnerships with key organisations.
- A chance to connect with the women who pioneered the game in New Zealand.
- Record-breaking support for football by spectators, and television audiences.
Main photo: Joy at Auckland’s Eden Park when the Football Ferns take the lead against Norway. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
From the report …
Here are excerpts from the report:
President Johanna Wood: ‘Legacy … is the enduring impact on the game’
“A fitting legacy of co-hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is the enduring impact on our game and diverse
communities. Legacy Starts Now reflects the drive, innovation, and commitment to elevating the spirit and power
of wähine, girls and women.
“Our game plan inspires, strives for excellence, is innovative and is an investment in our girls and women while
standing proud and united in New Zealand. We are delivering opportunities, experiences, development pathways,
and building and strengthening partnerships for the good of the game.”
Chief executive Andrew Pragnell: ‘A game-changing year for football’
“When New Zealand Football set out to bid for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, we knew that one of the most
significant aspects of co-hosting the tournament would not only be the brilliant event itself, but the transformational
legacy for football it would leave behind, changing the game for everyone in Aotearoa.
“Hosting the tournament opened doors to develop a professional pathway for women’s players, with the Wellington
Phoenix A-League Women side, and by 2025 a second professional women’s team will be based in Auckland.
“The community game has received a level of investment through the tournament unlike anything it has ever seen
before, supported by New Zealand Football programmes, federations and clubs to engage new communities to develop
a love for the game.
“The tournament allowed us a moment to reflect on the legacy created by all the players that laid the foundations for football in this country, as well as celebrate our Ford Football Ferns playing to record-breaking crowds and new fans.
“2023 has been a game-changing year for football and it is only going to grow from here.”
Head coach Jitka Klimková: ‘We wanted to make Kiwis proud’
*We wanted to play for New Zealand, we wanted to make Kiwis proud, and we wanted to inspire young girls and boys to find a passion for football.
“It is visible after the FIFA Women’s World Cup that more and more kids are playing football now. I just love seeing girls and boys running and chasing the football on the fields, in the parks and beaches. It brings a smile to my face to see them having fun. It is very satisfying to see the increase of footballers in the clubs.”
The volunteers who made it possible
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 would not have been possible without the amazing work of the 4,450 volunteers across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.
“Through the FIFA Women’s World Cup Volunteer Programme, volunteers from across Aotearoa were selected to transform the event and bring their local knowledge to the tournament.
“Volunteers worked with all key functional areas, and their roles ranged from traffic management to media assistance.
“Volunteers who already worked in the New Zealand football system will bring their knowledge and experience back to the community game.”