SAFA Assistant Technical Director Fran Hilton-Smith has just returned from a FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme which was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands from 7-10 February 2017.

She is one of the 11 FIFA mentors developing women administrators from around the world.

"Developing women’s football in all its facets is a priority for FIFA and they have established a department for this. I am one of the mentors for such a forward thinking project," said Hilton Smith.

Hilton Smith said she was excited because SAFA apparently is well ahead of most Football Federations on the continent as far as women emancipation is concerned.

"SAFA has completed a number of projects in the last two years to ensure that our women are up to speed to take women’s football to the next level. We held two FIFA Administrators courses for women in 2015 and 2016. During this period, 58 women completed the FIFA course.

We also had our 26 CAF A licence women attend a FIFA coaching course in 2016. In March we will be hosting a FIFA Women Referees course for Instructors and Assessors," added Hilton Smith pointing out that both Desiree Ellis and Maud Khumalo went to Germany to further their coaching careers.

SAFA has also conducted 4 FIFA Live Your Goals projects to develop girls interest. A 5th Course will be held in George from 20-25 February.

"The truth is SAFA is one of the leaders in Africa for empowering women in different fields."

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