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Playing football has a positive impact on self-confidence among teenage girls, a study has found.

The UEFA report gathered data from 4,128 girls and young women aged 13 and over.

The data was collected Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Poland and Turkey and looked at the impact football has on self-confidence, self-esteem, well-being, feelings of togetherness, motivation and life skills.

It found that

  • 80% of teenage girls exhibited more confident behaviour thanks to playing with a football team/club vs 74% of those who played other sports;
  • 54% of young footballers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I am less concerned what others think about me as a result of playing my sport’ compared with 41% of those who played other sports;
  • 58% of the 13–17 year-old female footballers questioned said they had overcome a lack of self-confidence as a result of playing football, compared with 51% of girls who play other sports;
  • 48% said they were less self-conscious as a result of playing football, compared with 40% of those who play other sports

UEFA’s women’s football advisor Nadine Kessler said: “This study shows that girls who play football have greater self-confidence than those who don’t play the game.

"Drawing upon my own experience, I can’t emphasise enough how important this is when you are growing up. I am certain that we can change perceptions and make it cool for teenage girls to play football.

"If we manage to achieve this, we will be on our way to achieving our goal of making football the number one sport for girls around Europe.”

Main picture: Flickr