Romania has made remarkable advances in developing women's football and attracting players and participants – earning the Romanian Football Federation a UEFA HatTrick Award.
Article top media content
Romania's great strides in fostering the progress of women's football in the country has earned the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) a coveted UEFA HatTrick Award.
The national 'Football and Femininity' project has flourished from the grassroots upwards, achieving the aim of attracting more women to play football and creating an organised framework for the development of women’s competitions.
A ceremony was held in Cluj-Napoca, where the chairman of the UEFA HatTrick Committee, Allan Hansen, presented the HatTrick award to FRF president Răzvan Burleanu.
Romania's senior national women's squad were stars of the show at the ceremony. The team have reached the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 play-offs, and will book a debut finals berth at this level if they beat Portugal over two legs on Friday and next Tuesday.
Within the 'Football and Femininity' project, current and former female players are involved in coaching, as a way of inspiring more women in Romania to become coaches.
Since 2012, the project has produced handsome results. The number of female participants in Romania increased from 1,566 in 2013 to 4,390 in 2015, with registered player numbers going up from 500 to 1,200.
The amount of teachers involved in the project rose in the same period from 112 to 150, while women's youth teams registered in national competitions grew from 14 to 24 over the two years.
In 2011, ten senior women's teams competed in one league – by 2015, there were eight national Super League teams, a 16-team, two-division national First League and 21 domestic Youth League teams. Romanian national women's teams play at senior, Under-19, U18, U17, U16 and U15 levels.
The HatTrick awards are open to all 55 UEFA member associations in five different categories – best investment project; best social project; best special project; best women's football development project; and best host project.
This initiative has a dual objective: recognising the outstanding work of UEFA's member associations, and providing the FAs with greater exposure within and outside the football family.
"Although the award comes in recognition of the efforts made so far to develop Romanian women's football," said Răzvan Burleanu, "it actually rewards [all] our current projects and confirms our future direction."
"The FRF has made remarkable advancements with this 'Football and Femininity' project," added Allan Hansen. "I am confident that this will be a successful project in the future, too."