Karina Leblanc

Canada’s longest serving goalkeeper Karina Leblanc joined other female soccer leaders at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich for the Female Leadership Development Programme (FLDP) 6-9 June.

The full programme runs over nine months in total and takes participants through workshops and extensive fieldwork, with a mentor and a leadership coach supporting them along the way.

“It’s exciting to be able to learn from some of the best leaders in the world and to be surrounded by women who want to grow,” Leblanc said from Zurich. “Dare to dream, because you can do it!”

Introduced by FIFA to help increase the number of female leaders and role models in football, the inaugural edition kicked off in Vancouver last July during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ and to date has involved 33 participants and more than a dozen mentors from across the globe.

“Canada Soccer is committed to the continued development of the women’s game, and we are thrilled to support Karina as she takes this important step in her career,” said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of Canada Soccer. “Canada is one of the leading countries in support of the women’s game, with countless legacies resulting from our successful hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, so we are especially proud to be supporting Karina through her transition from a Women’s National Team player, to a leader of the beautiful game.”

The FLDP participants were selected from over 80 applicants put forward by member associations around the globe for the 35 available places. The selection of participants was conducted by a working group comprised of FIFA and the THNK School of Creative Leadership Innovation.

Launched in 2015 to ensure that there are female role models and women at decision-making levels in football, the FLDP aims to identify, support and develop strong female leaders in the sport, while advocating for women to access senior decision-making positions globally.