UEFA launches Play at Home with Playmakers, featuring characters from Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2, to help children across Romania have fun while staying safe at home
Children across Romania can now play the roles of their favourite characters from Disney and Pixar’s global box office smash hit Incredibles 2 while staying active at home – thanks to a new initiative launched by UEFA and Disney.
Play at Home with Playmakers is an extension of UEFA’s first-ever pan-European grassroots programme for 5-8 year old girls, Playmakers, which uses Disney’s iconic storytelling to inspire regular exercise – and kickstart a love of football.
With six chapters available to download from the www.uefa.com/playmakers website, parents and guardians can access free Disney and Pixar Incredibles 2 themed activities that explore each of the film’s main characters through elements of reading, playing, creating and telling.
Using movement and imagination, children will be able to imitate the film’s supers to stretch like Elastigirl, or take on superhuman strength like Mr Incredible, in fun activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family at home.
The campaign is being supported by Romanian National Team players Alexandru Chipciu (photo) and Alin Toșca who both have young daughters, and also Romanian Women’s National Team player Andrea Herczeg who has two nieces.
Florentina Olar, the captain of Women’s National Team, said: “The initiative of this project seems ‘incredible’ to me – girls are always welcome in the kingdom of football! Playmakers is the perfect combination between animation and movement and a great a way to get children as active as possible in their homes. Besides the fact that I am a professional football player, I have also been a mother for almost 2 years. My child is already ‘fighting’ with technology as he wants to spend as much time as possible watching the films. Therefore, I recommend all parents support this project by downloading the Playmakers materials and having fun with their daughters.”
Teodora Meluță, player in the Romanian Women’s National Team and ambassador of the project, commented: “I grew up with Disney stories and I can only enjoy their involvement in the development of women’s football. Our girls need a safe and familiar environment to introduce them to this beautiful sport, even when they have to stay home, so they can do this by downloading the brilliant activities from Playmakers.”
Razvan Burleanu, RFF President: “Being one of the first countries to be part of this pan-European programme is a strong statement for Romanian football. If we are really determined to attract more girls to football, we need to be aware of the environment that will make this possible. In order to increase participation, we must start with the youngest participants, which is why I am convinced that the Playmakers project will be a real success in Romania – especially since girls can now do it at home.”
Play at Home with Playmakers
Each of the six chapters are themed on a different Incredibles 2 character – Elastigirl, Mr Incredible, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack and Frozone – and begin by exploring their personality. Children can recreate their powers using household objects and their imagination in a range of activities designed to work on their movement, as well as introduce them to basic football skills, with an emphasis on fun.
Each chapter also includes a task-based activity, including colouring-in a picture of Mr Incredible or role-playing an interview with Elastigirl, with family members encouraged to share photos and videos online using the hashtag #UEFAPlaymakers, so that children can see how others are taking part.
“We are happy to have expanded our Playmakers programme to a ‘play at home’ series, where children and their families can be active and have fun together. During these unprecedented times we want to ensure that we can help provide great ways to keep young children entertained and motivated with play and football. We are hoping that families across Europe will enjoy using their imaginations through Disney’s magical storytelling, allowing everyone to escape at little bit into another world, all while staying safe at home,” said Nadine Kessler, UEFA Chief of Women’s Football.
“Brought to life through Disney’s magical storytelling, the activities are designed to keep children fit, and their minds active, by encouraging imaginative play and creativity.”
UEFA’s first pan-European grassroots programme for girls
Playmakers was inspired by academic research showing the positive role of storytelling in helping young girls take up sport. It represents a first step toward achieving one of the main goals of “Time for Action” the UEFA Women’s Football Strategy – to double girls’ and women’s participation in football by 2024.
Targeting 5-8 year-old girls not currently playing football, seven UEFA national associations – Romania, Austria, Scotland, Norway, Belgium, Poland and Serbia – will roll out Playmakers sessions through schools, clubs and local communities later this year. More associations are expected to introduce the programme in 2021.
The initiative is also the result of a knowledge-transfer partnership with the English Football Association (FA), who are currently running the Shooting Stars programme in partnership with Disney.