A football is pictured on a pitch relating to a story about women's football

World Intellectual Impairment Sport Football take steps to build women’s game

The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Football Committee is gathering information from World Intellectual Impairment Sport members about the women’s game in their countries.

Competition is currently only open to men but the committee is keen to find out if women’s teams exist. Alternatively members may be interested in starting their own.

The aim is to establish if there are enough teams to hold the first international competition for women with intellectual impairments. This could be a full 11-a-side tournament or futsal.

John Ball, Chairperson of the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Football Committee, said: “After a successful World Championships in Sweden this year for the men, it is now important that we take steps to build the women’s game.

“We are hoping that countries will come forward to tell us about their activities and players. The membership is key to this process as they are at the forefront of developing sport on a national level.

“We are really interested to hear from anyone who already has a team and from those who may want to start. We can help by providing support and guidance as we have a lot of expertise on the committee.

“World Intellectual Impairment Sport wants to throw the spotlight on football for women with an intellectual impairment and break new ground by beginning to hold international competitions.”

The World Intellectual Impairment Sport Football Committee will spend the coming months gathering information from countries. Afterwards they will evaluate whether an international competition could take place.

World Intellectual Impairment Sport’ role in developing Para sport

World Intellectual Impairment Sport has a crucial role in growing women’s sport for Para athletes on a global level.

In 2018 it launched its #WeAreSport project to inspire more women and girls to take up sport. Eleven athletes from around the world took part in online seminars. These aimed to give them the tools and knowledge to use social media to promote their lives as an athlete.

It is hoped that #WeAreSport will raise awareness and create role models for future female athletes with intellectual impairments.