Daughters and Dads Football numbers boom post World Cup

Daughters and Dads Football program participation numbers are at an all-time high following the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ᵀᴹ.

The initiative under the NSW Football Legacy Program has seen a substantial increase of participation rates in all term four programs, as well as new hubs taking part across the northern NSW region.

The program introduces football to fathers or father figures and their daughters through a range of physical and social activities and aims to break the barriers to female participation and increase representation of women and girls in football.

NNSWF Daughters and Dads Program Coordinator Kirsten Smith was pleased with the increase in numbers. 

“The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cupᵀᴹ has had such a positive impact on the Daughters and Dads Football program,” Smith said. 

“Since the program began at the end of 2022, 240 families have gone through 13 programs across northern NSW. Of these families, 35 per cent of them are new to football.

“We have term four programs taking place in the Hunter Valley Football and Football Far North Coast member zones for the first time and have more than 66 families participating across the whole of northern NSW.

“We hope that these numbers continue to increase heading into 2024 and that we can introduce football to more families across the region.”

Participant Jason Girkin was thrilled the impacts the program have had on him and his daughter on and off the pitch.

“I wanted to spend more one-on-one time with my daughter and I wanted her to learn some football skills. I enjoyed playing soccer as a kid so I knew that it could be fun. I liked the look of the program and the online chatter about it was highly positive,” Girkin said.

“My daughter was completely new to football but I had played a few seasons in my teens.

“Ivy gets really excited for the Matildas when they win or when they score and she shares their disappointment when they lose. She’s got their poster up in her bedroom. At first, she was asking ‘which one is Matilda?’, so we have come a long way.

“I’ll be keeping an eye on opportunities and using what we have learned from the Daughters and Dads program to develop Ivy’s skills. Not just ball skills but the core values of persistence, resilience and bravery.”

All clubs are encouraged to get involved in hosting a Daughters and Dads Football program. It is a great opportunity for clubs to recruit new players, coaches and volunteers as well as help dads and daughters strengthen their bond through the uniting power of football.

Term 1 registrations are now open! Find out more HERE.