We've put together this guide with essential information and tools to support you and your players in this time of crisis. We need to do our part in slowing down the spread of the corona virus, but also address the consequences of the pandemic. Your training sessions might be cancelled, but your team is not!
This pandemic will affect women and girls differently than men and boys. We need to do everything we can to make sure our girls still have support in their football teams, and in you as a coach, throughout and after this period of crisis. It is essential that access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services and information is maintained.
The extraordinary circumstances that we are currently in, and the measures put in place by our governments are all trying to slow down the spread of the virus. And, even with the best intention, this has consequences. Practicing social distancing, isolation or quarantine puts you and your players at increased risk of anxiety and stress, but also at financial hardship, and violence. We know that during crises, the risk of intimate partner abuse and violence, including sexual abuse, increase. This is likely to increase even more when we have to stay isolated, and there is already an increase in violence recorded across the globe related to the pandemic.
When everyone's attention is shifted towards the corona pandemic, we need to maintain our focus and support girls' wellbeing (both physical and mental) and continue to offer information around sexual and reproductive health and rights. We need to continue to raise awareness of unsafe sex,
and in particular the increased risks of unintended pregnancies and HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) transmission, and its consequences in a time where health care is difficult to access. We also need to support and motivate our players to return to school, once they open again, in places where schools are now closed.
In a crisis, community is more important than ever. In this crisis, the nature of transmission makes it difficult to be close to the ones you love. Therefore, we should do our very best to maintain contact over phone, WhatsApp, instagram, snapchat, zoom and other platforms and continue to be a team. We can use our networks of leaders, players and their families, to spread information about what we can all do to slow down the spread of the virus – to play our part in flattening the curve of infections.
We will get through this, and together we can really make a difference and ensure that our girls stay healthy, safe and supported!
Please read through this guide and reach out if you have any questions or need support on our WhatsApp hotline: +46705863119. Remember that as a leader, you are part of a large network and team of leaders all over the world, and we are here to support you!