Valencia Club de Fútbol and UN Women to teach football training techniques to development practitioners


UN Women and Valencia Club de Fútbol have been jointly advocating for gender equality since they joined forces in 2015. The Spanish soccer team is the first sports club ever to become a global partner for UN Women and to provide core resources to the organization. In the framework of their partnership, UN Women and Valencia CF are organizing an innovative international workshop to teach football training techniques to development practitioners.

Many humanitarian and development workers already include sports programming in their activities but may not have the necessary skills to conduct high-quality training programmes, or to adequately include gender equality and women’s empowerment into the design of their sports programmes. The workshop will provide the participants with techniques to design and conduct high-quality football training with a strong focus on gender equality, preventing violence against women and girls and building self-esteem and leadership through sports.

The gender equality and women’s empowerment sessions will focus on women’s rights, the human rights-based approach and prevention of gender-based violence. Furthermore, participants will learn about concrete tools to incorporate these important issues into sports programming in the field. The sessions will be interactive and give participants the opportunity to make personal reflections. Furthermore, there will be time to discuss how to best utilize the exercises in contexts that are relevant to each participant in an exchange and innovation session.

This pilot project will be expanded with additional workshops over the next three years to reach at least 15,000 girls and boys by the end of 2019. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to design and implement projects that improve physical and mental health; create opportunities for social interaction and friendship; increase girls’ and women’s self-confidence and take control of their bodies and their lives; and empower girls and women to develop leadership skills. Crucially, each participant commits to sharing their skills and knowledge with peers in their countries of work, thus multiplying the impact of the training. 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Development and humanitarian practitioners
  • UN Women partners
  • Fund for Gender Equality and UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women partners
  • Demonstrated capacity to transfer know-how and impact to a high number of individuals
  • UN system staff members
  • Sports-oriented NGO members
  • University/Association football coaches
  • Women´s association members

Workshop highlights:

  • Ten Participants will stay at Valencia CF’s academy May 9-15 with full board. Participants will be responsible for their travel to Valencia
  • Training will be carried out in English by professional football trainers, as well as by UN Women experts
  • Participants will form the first part of a network of practitioners, which will grow over the coming years
  • Valencia CF will provide participants with a training kit to use in their programming upon return from the workshop to develop and share the acquired know-how
  • Networking and experiencing Valencia, including Valencia CF’s home game on Sunday May 15