FAS ● Mar 20, 2023

FAS conducts second Women’s Day Conference in line with International Women’s Day



SINGAPORE, 20 MARCH 2023 – The Football Association of Singapore held the second Women’s Football Conference at Jalan Besar Stadium last Sunday (12 March) in celebration of the annual Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Day and International Women’s Day.


Following the success of the first Women’s Football Conference last year, the recent edition is split into two different events running concurrently – two workshops and football fiesta across multiple age groups.



Over 40 participants, which sees a mix of Lionesses, coaches, players from both Women’s Premier League (WPL) and Women’s National League (WNL) clubs, attended the workshops held at the Seminar Room. The first session of the workshop, titled ‘‘Strategic and Financial Planning’ was hosted by Mr James Walton, Sports Business Group Leader and Clients & Markets Leader for Deloitte Southeast Asia. Mr Walton brought forth his wealth of experience in sports business and shared on how to create a sustainable future for women’s and girls’ football. Some of the topics discussed include building brand identities and learning marketing strategies.


Mr Walton speaking to players from Singapore Khalsa Association, who competes in the Women National League, 12 March 2023. 


“It was a really fun and interactive session. It was fascinating to hear their different backgrounds, actions, initiatives as well as their goals for the future so that we can help them work towards them. This is especially so for teams from the WNL, which may not have access to expertise and resources, and are usually run by volunteers or their players”, he explained.



Next up, the second and last workshop of the day sees FIFA Technical expert Karl Dodd sharing about ‘Unlocking the Female Athlete’s Potential’. The former Australian professional footballer discussed training considerations coaches and fitness trainers should take note to help individualize and optimize training sessions for our female footballers.


Lioness Umairah (centre, in dark blue), 12 March 2023. 


This, in particular, struck a chord for Lioness Umairah Hamdan: “I found the topic Mr Dodd shared on the impact of menstrual cycles on female athletes truly relevant. Menstrual cycles affect our energy levels, which results in lower performance. As such, having training session catered to our cycles help ensure that we can still give our best during practice.”



Head Coach of Balestier Khalsa’s Women’s Team Ratna Suffian reflected similar sentiments, adding that discussing about menstrual cycles during training sessions should no longer be a taboo subject: “With open communication between players and coaches, we can develop and plan our training sessions even better, according to the players’ energy and capabilities.”



Mr Dodd stresses the importance of catering to the female athlete to better support their growth and performance in football: “For years, the scientific understanding of the female athlete has been overlooked. There are tons of research in terms of physiology, nutrition, and more that have been dedicated for male athletes, but with the rapid growth of women’s football, there is a need to invest more in the study and development of female athletes. Female footballers have specific needs that differ from their male counterparts, and wholly copying generalised training sessions (i.e. men’s) will only do more harm than good – not only to their performance, but also their overall well-being and health. Developing training sessions based on their menstrual cycles, psychological and physicological needs, amongst others, helps to support lifelong success on and off the field. Hopefully, with more investment and support to the research on the female athlete, we can directly impact and improve the women’s game.”


Tampines Rovers’ Sara Hayduchok playing against fellow debutants Geylang International, 12 March 2023.


Over at the field, more than 100 participants took part in friendly football matches across different categories – U12, U17 and Women’s Open. The event also saw new WPL teams – Tampines Rovers, Geylang International and Police Sports Association – making their first appearances at the pitch.


FAS Acting President (AP) Bernard Tan giving out medals to winners, 12 March 2023. 


The day ended with a prize presentation for the winners, and both Mr Walton as well as Mr Dodd were presented with a personalised Singapore team jersey as a token of appreciation.




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