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UEFA and Disney have teamed up to develop a ground-breaking football programme that uses Disney's world-renowned storytelling to encourage more young girls to exercise regularly and kickstart a lifelong love of football.
Targeting 5-8 year-old girls not currently playing football, seven UEFA national associations including Scotland will be first to roll out "Playmakers" through schools, clubs and local communities. More associations are expected to introduce the programme later in the year.
Unlike traditional football programmes, each of Playmaker's ten initial training sessions follow the narrative of Disney and Pixar's billion dollar global box office smash hit, Incredibles 2.
Equipped with footballs, bibs and cones, trained coaches encourage participants to play the roles of popular characters, such as Elastigirl, Violet, Mr Incredible and Dash, bringing the film's action scenes to life through movement, teamwork and their imagination.
As Playmakers rolls out across Europe, new Disney storytelling will be added to the programme. In its early sessions, Playmakers focuses on building girls' confidence in their movement, encouraging creative thinking and communicating easily with their friends. Later sessions introduce girls to basic football skills, but the programme continues to put the emphasis on making sport fun.
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell said: "The growth of the girls' and women's game in Scotland is a key priority for the Scottish FA, so the opportunity to partner with a global brand like Disney to encourage girls to take up football is a tremendous boost.
"Our participation in the Playmakers programme will ensure that number continues to swell and will allow young girls the chance to be involved in football from a young age in a fun environment.
"This is a fantastic initiative set up by UEFA and Disney, empowering young girls through physical activity and encouraging them in a unique and innovative way to play football.
"Having the support of two global brands such as UEFA and Disney, both of whom have goals for girls' and women's football that dovetail with our own, should help to inspire a new generation of girls across Scotland to love football."
Scotland National Team striker Erin Cuthbert added: "This latest initiative from Disney and UEFA is fantastic and offers a new way for children to begin playing football. I absolutely love Disney, even at the age of 21, and when I was younger this is definitely something I would loved to have been part of.
"I can see a huge difference now in terms of the number of young girls taking part in football from when I was growing up, and playing in a boys team. Using Disney will not only make football even more enjoyable for them at a young age but will also hopefully increase participation levels even more.
"I can't wait to see the positive effect that this programme will have across Scotland."
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