Football Connect

Football Connect is a partnership between Youthtown and the New Zealand Football Foundation. The goal of this programme is to provide opportunities for both boys and girls across Aotearoa, to develop confidence, competence and life skills through football.

The low cost programme removes some of the barriers to entry for young people and enables them to access the benefits that playing a team sport can bring. For some participants, Football Connect allows them to try football for the first time, and for others it gives them more opportunitites to play a sport they enjoy. 

The programme generally runs during the school holidays in partnership with local football clubs. Drawing on the football expertise of the local club and then the youth development skills of the Youthtown team, participants get to develop their football ability in a supportive, inclusive environment.

The programme was measured by ImpactLab, to determine it's social value and was determined to have a Social Return on Investment of $2.80. Which means for every dollar invested in the programme $2.80 of social value is returned.

Read the full ImpactLAb report below

It was so awesome to be be able to deliver a programme that makes a difference to our local communities and tamariki. You can find out more about Football Connect on our News Hub feature. ​​​​​​​

Football Connect in Action

Across the December and April holidays of 2023/2024 we delivered a Football Connect programme for girls. These programmes were held in Auckland, the Waikato and Christchurch. Following the Women's FIFA World Cup, this initiative was implemented into local communities with the help of community clubs to drive the participation of girls football. In Auckland we had approximately 65 girls attend each day, and the Waikato had approximately 30 each day. 

Thanks to Youth Football Development NZ, who funded this programme. We were able to offer the programme for just $10 including lunch. Parents dropped off their eager young footballers who joined the Northern Rovers Football Club in Glenfield and some of their top club players. Our very own Amber Hearn, former Football Fern and current leading goal scorer, made sure to come along and inspire the young footballers. The girls got to have a go learning from the best and developing their football confidence. 

Learning new skills, healthy competition and the opportunity to hang out with friends. The girls on programme absolutely loved their time and it was amazing to see so many passionate young footballers. ​​​​​​​

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