calendar_today November 2, 2022

Special all-female edition of Future Leaders in Football workshop takes place in Qatar

General news

While fans eagerly await the FIFA World Cup Qatar 202, a special all-female edition of the Future Leaders in Football (FLF) workshop was held in Doha from 27 October to 1 November.

The workshop included 22 participants from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Iraq, Palestine, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco, Germany, Syria and Jordan. Focused on the development of young professionals in the football industry, the workshop aimed to equip the next generation of female leaders with the leadership skills required to tackle industry specific societal obstacles in a sustainable manner and to provide the opportunity to create a network of peers.

The workshop took place at Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Education City. It was hosted by the Generation Amazing Foundation (GA) – the human and social legacy initiative of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022Ô – QF, Qatar Football Association (QFA), the German Football Association (DFB), the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ), and in cooperation with Volkswagen, UEFA Assist and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Abrar Abdelrahman, a Generation Amazing youth advocate and FLF workshop participant, said: “In the last couple of days, we’ve had different workshops with various advocates and ambassadors, all coming from different organisations and countries. It has been a really joyful experience and a huge opportunity for us to work together and exchange knowledge.”

She added: “There are a lot of things I’ve taken out of this programme. I look forward to delivering these trainings going forward to my society and peers around me.”

The workshop included a range of expert speakers, including Bo Hanson, Australian Olympian; Michael Richardson, Generation Amazing Master Coach, Farah Badarneh, Director International Relations, West Asian Football Federation; and panel discussions on sustainability by Eng Bodour Al Meer, Sustainability Executive Director, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Dr Talar Sahsuvargolu, Sustainability & Environmental Senior Manager, SC, and Nihal Mohamaed Al Saleh, Programme Manager, Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future, a member of QF.

The sessions included a mix of theoretical and practical lessons on sport for development, leadership, gender empowerment, culture, sustainability and ethics, delivered by young leaders in Qatar, including Nour Loubani, a GA coach and former youth advocate.

The closing ceremony was attended by key leadership from various organisations, including Dr. Claudius Fischbach, German Ambassador to Qatar; Bernd Neuendorf, President of the German Football Association; Mansoor Al Ansari, General Secretary, QFA; Heike Ullrich, General Secretary, DFB; H.E. Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al Thani, CEO of Nasser Bin Khaled Al Thani & Sons Group and Founding Chairperson of Q-Auto; Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director at the Generation Amazing Foundation and Alexandra Chalat, Director of World Cup Legacy at QF.

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, SC and Chairman, Generation Amazing Foundation, said: “In addition to ensuring a lasting positive impact and legacy after Qatar 2022, Generation Amazing aim to accelerate the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We do so through tailored initiatives and curriculum that promote the development of social and critical thinking skills in young people while enhancing understanding and adoption of the global goals. Throughout the world, we work with local partners to understand the barriers to entry and the local context in communities that influences gender inequality and unequal access to sport, and we plan our projects considering these community-specific challenges in order to confront these barriers and foster female leadership, ensuring a balanced representation of gender in all of our programmes not only regionally, but globally.”

Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing Foundation, said: “Taking our role as the leading provider of sport for development and education within the region seriously, we feel it is essential to offer the opportunity to young people, especially young women, to develop their socio-educational networks so that we enable and nurture their capacity to address the social challenges they might face. In collaboration with our global partners, we are proud to continue to provide opportunities for female youth from across the region to engage in thought-provoking, educationally-significant opportunities to learn, interact and share their experiences from experts in the field of leadership and personal development. As the social impact legacy initiative of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we aim to equip all youth engaged through Generation Amazing programmes with global competency skills so that they can be best positioned to think and act pro-socially now and in their future.”

“Our mission at Qatar Foundation is to unlock human potential – and we believe that this happens through education, capacity building and skills development. With nearly 70% of women making up our student body and with the excitement of the World Cup increasing participation and opportunities in sport here in Qatar, we know that providing females with pathways and leadership skills in football industries is a meaningful way to support our community. That’s why we are hosting events such as this special edition of Future Leaders in Football workshop around the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Additionally, once the tournament ends, Education City Stadium will become an educational, leisure and sporting facility that will serve as a hub for learning, creativity and discovery, focused specifically on women and girls,” said Machaille Hassan Al Naimi, Strategic Initiatives Executive Officer at Qatar Foundation.

Mansoor Al Ansari, QFA General Secretary, said: "It has been a privilege to join hands with our partners to organise and host this workshop. Such initiatives demonstrate football's ability to be used as a tool to bring about positive social change in communities and achieve important social goals such as equality and access to valuable knowledge. We are confident that our female participants benefited greatly from this experience and developed new skills to help them grow into socially conscious leaders."

He added: "To welcome young women from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Iraq, Palestine, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco, Germany, Syria and Jordan was truly a momentous occasion for us. If the game is to develop, we need young women and men working together for a common cause. We thank our Qatari and international partners for putting this workshop together."

Ahead of Euro 2024, which will be hosted in Germany, the DFB developed the FLF workshop in cooperation with BMZ and GIZ, which was carried out digitally for the first time as part of Euro 2020 in 2021. The goal of FLF is to use football as an effective tool for developing skills and competencies for socially responsible leaders to proactively lead the way for sustainable and positive social change. The target group is 18-35-year-old young leaders from the football family (management, instructors, coaches from NGOs) who have the potential to help shape the future of football as role models and leaders in their respective organisations. In addition to leadership skills, the curriculum of the FLF also imparts knowledge on topics such as diversity, culture, inclusion and sustainability.

Bernd Neuendorf, President of the DFB, said: “The German Football Association is taking numerous measures to promote both women’s football and women in football. This commitment is also an international one, as the DFB’s continuous international engagement as well as the joint bid to host the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup together with Belgium and the Netherlands prove. I am therefore very pleased that the FLF course is strengthening women in football in the host country of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and beyond in the region by equipping the participants with skills and experiences which will help them become future leaders in our sport and societies. We all expect lasting and sustainable improvements from this World Cup. We hope that this workshop will contribute to achieve this goal.”

Heike Ullrich, General Secretary of the DFB, said “In less than three weeks' time, one of the biggest sporting events of all, the FIFA World Cup, is going to open here in Qatar. This is perceived by many as an impetus for positive change, and that's how it should be. Change is always future-oriented, and this is reflected by the very name of the course – the third female edition of FLF. It is also symbolic, because it is aimed at a group that used to be shamefully under-represented in the football of the past – but that will help shape the future of this sport and ensure that it has a good future.”