Institut für Sportwissenschaft

UEFA project on the Benefits of Playing Football on Girls

Prof. Dr. Oliver Höner, Dr. Thorsten Leber, and Dr. Johannes Raabe recently collaborated on an international project “The Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Playing Football on Girls and Women in Europe” spearheaded by Dr. Paul Appleton from the University of Birmingham in the UK. The study was funded by the European football association UEFA to initiate their 'Together #WePlayStrong' campaign.

The research investigated the influence that football has on self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation, and life skills and compared those results to other popular sports. Data was collected on 4,128 girls and young women aged 13 and over from six countries: Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland, and Turkey.

The research found that young female football players reported higher levels of confidence, self-esteem, well-being, and motivation than girls who are involved in no sport at all, and than those who participate in other sports (Please refer to the UEFA homepage or the executive summary of the report for more information).

We would like to thank our student assistants Ann-Katrin Riehle, Louisa Wolf, and Selina Zürn for their support and contribution to this research project!