The UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship can be the driving force for the development of women's football in Slovakia, according to international Alexandra Bíróová.
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Hosting the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship is a great chance to boost the women's game in Slovakia according to Alexandra Bíróová, a national team player and UEFA Women's Champions League regular who also works on women's football development projects in the country.
UEFA.org: How does it feel to see this final tournament in Slovakia?
Alexandra: It's a great opportunity for us to use the tournament to boost the number of girls playing football and promote women's football differently.
UEFA.org: How will you capitalise on it?
Alexandra: You wouldn't usually find too much about women's football in the national newspapers in Slovakia or on national television. Here, the three matches in the group stage were broadcast nationwide and the newspapers are writing about it as well. There's so much information and more videos on the internet than ever before.
UEFA.org: Describe the women's football development projects that you have here in Slovakia.
Alexandra: We have a new development project for grassroots that includes women's football and is due to start in September. We want to bring more football into first stage schools (between six and ten years old) for girls and boys. We have some great school tournaments but most of the kids and teams are not participating regularly. With this project, we want small kids to have football as their after-school activity twice a week.
UEFA.org: Tell us about the support that the association is giving to the growth of women's football.
Alexandra: They are really supporting women's football, trying to do more every year. Hosting of this Women's Under-19 Championship is a nice example that the association cares about elite women's football and we know that we have to do more in the grassroots, too.
UEFA.org: How does your experience as a player in Europe's top competitions help your work with the association?
Alexandra: I try to use all good examples from other countries, especially Austria [where she plays her club football for FSK Spratzen St.Pölten] and try to apply them in Slovakia, of course also respecting the individuality of our own country. Why should we invent new things when there is so much inspiration around?