UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

UEFA WePlayStrong – Skills for Life Line-Up, continued!

Womens football

UEFA WePlayStrong’s Skills for Life Line-Up kicked off on International Women’s Day this year, shining a light on incredible women from across Europe and beyond, using the skills developed in football to set them up for success.

As March draws to a close, we bring to you our final Skills for Life Line-Up, featuring five inspirational women from Azerbaijan, France, Norway, Scotland, and Wales. Whether your sights are set on international caps or playing for sheer joy with your grassroots club, football provides invaluable skills for young girls to succeed in whichever path they choose to follow – both on and off the pitch.

Full Skills for Life Line-up

Vanessa Tomaszewski, France, Sports Content Creator

Drawn into football by a sheer love of playing the game, Vanessa Tomaszewski began playing football with her twin sister at home before joining her first girls club aged seven. The atmosphere, unity, and emotions connected to the game are what led Vanessa to pursue a successful career in football.

Vanessa Tomaszewski, France
Vanessa Tomaszewski, FranceUEFA

Vanessa explains

“Football is my passion. I was always a fan of the atmosphere and the atmosphere in the stadiums. What I like most of all is the emotion and the ability to bring people together in this sport.”

Six years ago, Vanessa created her own digital media business, ‘Champions du Digital’, dedicated to sports marketing. She produces insider content showcasing a unique view of some of the biggest sports events in the world, giving visibility to all women and championing lesser-known athletes.

Speaking at conferences and higher education institutions, consulting in social media strategy, and pitch-side reporting and producing for UEFA are just some of the additional opportunities that Vanessa has through her experience in football.

Perseverance, creativity, and teamwork are the most important skills that football has provided, allowing her to flourish in her career.

“When I was playing football, I learned this sense of team spirit but also how important the ability to learn is. Failing allows you to succeed by repeating until you get it right. Just like when you learn to juggle, when you have professional failures, you must not give up. I always say that everything is possible as long as you haven't proved that it was impossible!”

Amalie Snøløs, Norway, Business owner, Real estate developer, Influencer, and Gamer

Amalie Snøløs began playing football at six years old. Having grown up with all of her friends playing, football had huge support from the local community in Birkenes, and Amalie’s success led her to play for Norway’s U19 National Team.

Amalie Snøløs, Norway
Amalie Snøløs, NorwayUEFA

Having enjoyed a variety of different careers to date, from football, to TV, to real estate, Amalie is always looking for a new challenge, and she credits football with giving her the skills she needs to get the most out of life.

“Football is a part of my personality. I honestly think all of my skills in life have something to do with how football shaped me as a person, being a part of a team with so many different people, many roles and ages. One of the skills I am most proud of is my ability to be happy for others. Football is a team sport - if she scores, we succeed, if I score, we succeed! The ability to be happy for others and celebrate all the good things in my workspace with my clients, colleagues, and those above me.”

Handling pressure and competition is a big part of Amalie’s professional life, and the skills she learned in football around teamwork, celebrating success, and healthy competition have been invaluable to her.

“I understand that competition easily can bring out the worst of us at times, that is pure passion for winning and a healthy mindset, but when the game is over and someone else won - it’s important to be happy for others. Same at work, if my colleague does something major with a contract and set us up for success, I am happy for that person and us as a team. And this is the fantastic love language in football, celebrate all the ups with the whole team, you are useless without them!”

Eilidh Barbour, Scotland, Sports Broadcaster

Top sports broadcaster Eilidh Barbour started her journey playing football with friends in the park and at school. Having always been drawn to sports, football was the one that always stuck with her.

Eilidh Barbour, Scotland
Eilidh Barbour, ScotlandUEFA

Eilidh’s love and passion for the game saw her play from primary school through to university, and she continues to play 5-a-side football to this day. As Eilidh explains, there are so many elements to football that are so important interpersonally as well as professionally.

“I don’t just love playing the game, I love learning about the game. I love the tactical element, the mental side and both the highs and lows the game can give you. I also love being part of a team and I have worked in some great teams over the years and learnt so much from those around me and those who have been in the industry for a long time. You never stop learning and you never know what is going to happen from one live broadcast to the next, it’s exciting and being live has an adrenaline rush that never gets old. Like I say, the closest thing to being out on the pitch!”

Keeping calm under pressure, teamwork, and celebrating difference are just three of the key skills that have helped Eilidh develop a successful career in broadcasting.

“Understanding different roles and how to have success by bringing everyone’s individual skill sets together and motivating each other along the way. Sometimes things can get quite tense in a studio - usually when technology is not doing what it should - but I am able to keep calm under pressure which is something I think football helped me with. Trust the process, trust each other and help each other through it.”

Kelly Davies, Wales, Chair of Cymru Football Foundation, Social Entrepreneur, Former Welsh International

Kelly Davies’ incredible football journey began at home, enjoying playing and watching football with her dad and brothers. From there, she shaped a career for herself that has stretched from Bangor City U16 and winning the UEFA Cup, to Arsenal, Liverpool and being awarded 63 caps for the Welsh National Team. Now Kelly Davies Is the Chair of the Cymru Football Foundation, leading the way in growing football participation and improving facilities across Wales.

Kelly Davies, Wales
Kelly Davies, WalesFootball Association of Wales

Having been involved in high-performing teams throughout her life, resilience, leadership, teamwork, and asking for help have been key skills she gained through football that have been integral in her successful career on and off the pitch.

“In high performing teams, both in football and business, you need to lead in a vulnerable and authentic way. You fail and you learn. You don't have all of the answers, so you ask others.”

Kifayat Mustafayeva, Azerbaijan, Football Social Responsibility Manager at Azerbaijan National Association

Kifayat’s football journey began at the age of 12, playing for City Sumgayit in Azerbaijan. Having now been at the heart of the Azerbaijani National Association for 15 years, Kifayat specialises in coordinating social projects within the national association.

Kifayat Mustafayeva, Azerbaijan
Kifayat Mustafayeva, AzerbaijanUEFA

Working with both government and non-government organisations, Kifayat has helped develop a variety of life-changing projects that encourage participation and widen access to football for many groups of people. Some of the initiatives Kifayat is involved in include Walking Football and setting up football participation programmes for children with additional support needs.

“Football has given me the skills to be responsible and motivated to lead these important projects with ambition. The best thing about my role, is being able to share the skills that I have learned through football and through my life with others.”

By uniting these women across the world through football, they have shown that the teamwork, passion, resilience, celebrating difference, and handling pressure are just some of the skills that young girls will develop and carry through their lives.

Football is fantastic sport and activity for young girls to participate in, opening up many different routes and career paths by providing invaluable skills above and beyond the displays on the pitch!

Find a place to play