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Connecting youth through major sporting events

In 2023, the world’s top female football players touched down in Aotearoa for a tournament like no other. As co-hosts of the world’s biggest female sporting event with Australia, we were lucky to have front-row seats to all the action – both on and off the field.

To create a lasting legacy for Aotearoa New Zealand, there were a number of ways for our schools and communities to be involved to help achieve outcomes in four key focus areas:  

  • Mana Wāhine (raising the profile of women and girls in sport and wider society) 
  • Te Tangata (thriving communities) 
  • Te Ao (enhancing our international relationships) 
  • Ōhanga (economic growth).  

The initiatives below transcend the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ and can be incorporated into any work plan inside or outside the classroom! With more events in the works, watch this space!

Below you’ll find a list of the initiatives available to schools, to help connect tamariki and rangatahi to sports events here in Aotearoa: 

Woman in a red shirt holding a poi
Poi kia mau - get ready!

Introducing Poi Tukua - a series of national projects that celebrates wāhine (women) in sport, expresses national pride for Māori culture, and welcomes manuhiri (international visitors) to Aotearoa. 

Poi Tukua is a beautiful way to show to the world how we as a country support women’s sport more widely. 

Watch the video today and visit to learn more about how you and your school/community can learn how to make poi, how to use poi and the tikanga of this taonga. 


Two boys playing with a soccer ball

Kōtuitui is a learning module to support ākonga in years four through to eight to develop their knowledge and skills to connect to cultures other than their own, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the globe.  

Using the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ as a context for learning about culture and collective identity and linked to Te ao tangata | Social sciences, Kōtuitui was developed by New Zealand Football and Sport NZ.

Image collage of 7 women looking to the camera

EQUALIZE was a free entry, gender-equity discussion series delivered in the four New Zealand FIFA Women’s World Cup host cities. EQUALIZE is designed to celebrate, challenge, and inspire current and future generations around the achievements, barriers faced, and pathways forward to girls and women in New Zealand and elsewhere. See below for all the stories from the amazing Wāhine Toa.

Kids playing football in a hall for pe

Fantails is a new programme giving girls aged 4 to 12 a chance to try football or futsal in a fun and safe environment. It’s designed to help girls make friends, encounter role models, improve their skills and movement competency, boost their confidence, and most importantly have fun!  

Visit NZ Football’s website to find a Fantails hub near your school.  

Young women playing football on an indoor court
Kickin’ It

New Zealand Football’s Kickin’ It brings together young females aged 13-19 years old for social football. Kickin' It hubs provide young women with a fun and safe environment to experience football or futsal with their friends and peers, in a smaller format (5v5, 7v7).

Aligned to Sport NZ’s 'It’s My Move' campaign, New Zealand Football want to lead and grow the movement towards more positive and inclusive experiences for young women in our communities.

Kickin' It Hubs will take place across Aotearoa from Term 3, 2023, find hubs here.

Supporting Schools Make your Move banner
Make Your Move

GirlBoss New Zealand and the Ministry of Education have partnered to establish Make Your Move – an initiative that uses sport as a platform to encourage young women to explore careers in sports science, psychology, advanced medicine, surgery and other related fields. Make Your Move includes the GirlBoss Edge: Healthcare programme which saw 825 young women participate in a 10-day career accelerator online programme in April 2023. Follow Girlboss for future updates.

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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