Disney backing a Scottish football fairytale with girls' game influence

Scotland are looking to write their own fairytale by taking part in a groundbreaking Disney-backed production that will hopefully see the number of girls playing football across the country soar.

Head of Girls' and Women's Football Fiona McIntyre (R) and Rachael Boyle join The Incredibles to launch the scheme at the Oriam. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Head of Girls' and Women's Football Fiona McIntyre (R) and Rachael Boyle join The Incredibles to launch the scheme at the Oriam. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The Playmakers programme has been developed by UEFA and Disney and taps into the studio’s ability to capture the imagination of that age group.

Targeting 5-8 year-old girls, who are not currently playing football, the Scottish FA has joined another 22 national associations in adopting the Playmakers programme and, working with schools, clubs and local communities, the hope is that more than 1,000 girls will benefit from the new initiative within the first year.

According to the World Health Organisation, only 16% of girls meet the minimum standards when it comes to taking part in physical activity but it is hoped that the likes of the Incredibles and Elsa and Anna can help swell those numbers with the Playmakers programme set to utilise a unique storytelling approach featuring popular Disney characters, offering a welcoming environment.

The Playmakers football programme was launched with UEFA and Disney at the Oriam. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Playmakers will initially follow the narrative of global box office smash hits Frozen 2 and Disney Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and, equipped with footballs, bibs and cones, trained coaches will encourage participants to play the roles of popular characters, such as Elastigirl and Elsa and Anna, bringing the films’ action scenes to life through movement, teamwork and their imagination.

Scottish FA Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football Fiona McIntyre backed the fresh approach.

“Participation numbers have grown by a third since 2016 and programmes like this will only help us improve that.

“UEFA are aiming to double girls’ and women’s participation in football across Europe by 2024 which is a goal we in Scotland fully support and through our Football Development department we look forward to seeing girls across the country become empowered by Disney and football.”

“As a proud mother, I am excited by the Playmakers programme,” said Scotland international Rachael Boyle.

“When I was younger I loved Disney and even now, I still enjoy watching all the movies with my daughter. Seeing how inspired she is by all of the characters, coupled with her early interest in football, I can tell this programme will be perfect to engage the interest of young girls.”

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