The first info day dedicated to the new Life Champions concept line – creation of the female Life Champions was held in Veles, organized by the Union Center for Education and Training (UCET) from Skopje and ŽFK Borec from Veles, precisely on the International Day of Sport also known as a Challenge Day.
The project consortium is aware that the achievement of genuine equality in sports, but also in all other segments of society, is a challenge that requires involvement of various actors, but is also ready to tackle it seriously.
From the very beginning of work on the concept of Life Champions in football, one of the issues that emerged as important was the issue of gender equality, with a special focus on the position of girls and young women in sports, and all gender-based stereotypes and prejudices that are especially related to girls in football. Strengthening girls in sports and through sports was therefore imposed on the consortium as one of the priorities of future work, from which the idea of working on a new segment of the concept was born – the creation of female life champions.
Bearing all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Info Day in Veles, apart from the girls – young athletes from ŽFK Veles and their parents, was attended by all those who recognize the topic as important, led by Mrs. Vesna Atanasovska, the president of the Commission for Gender Equality of the Municipality of Veles, who addressed the audience in introductory part. Along with her, Mr. Kiril Lazov, president of ŽFK Borec Veles and Mrs. Snežana Karakčanova representative of the Federation for School Sport and the project aimed at inclusion of girls into football supported by the Football Federation of Macedonia.
In continuation, Mr. Bojan Tripunoski in front of UCET and Mrs. Aleksandra Knežević, coordinator of the Life Champions concept, presented the attendees with all planned activities for 2023-2024, at the same time introducing them to the central messages related to the concept – fair play, solidarity, tolerance, understanding, gender equality, the fight against all negative phenomena in sports, regional cooperation and common progress.
“This is the first year that both the girls and their coaches will participate in planned activities, so it is clear that the greatest interest reigned in the details of the upcoming camps – what they include, what the girls can expect, what activities they can hope for. We are pleased that today’s info day was attended by another member of the consortium, Mrs. Lenče Aleksovska Veličkovska, as a representative of the expert team, who explained the working methodology and the approach used to the attendees firsthand. This is a big step forward for all of us and we consider it only the first in a series of steps that we will take on the way to creating a more equal sport, a sport for all”, said Aleksandra Knežević after the end of the Info day.
With their active involvement, support was also obtained by project partners from Pandev Academy from Strumica and the Faculty of Physical Education, Sport and Health of the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius from Skopje.
Info day in Veles was realized as part of the project “Creating Life Champions” with the support of the UEFA Foundation for Children. Final activities are info days in Montenegro and Serbia, which will round off the consortium’s regional tour for 2023.