Disney and UEFA invite Swedish footballer Lotta Schelin to be first-ever UEFA Playmakers Ambassador

Sweden’s all-time top football scorer Lotta Schelin has been named the first-ever UEFA Playmakers inspired by Disney programme ambassador at a special UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship event. This introduction of a UEFA Playmakers ambassador marks a significant milestone for Disney and UEFA’s grassroots initiative as it continues to introduce young girls across the European region to football.

The announcement came at a special UEFA Playmakers inspired by Disney session in Malmö, the host city of this year’s UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final. The event, held at the tournament fan zone, offered parents, girls and supporters a glimpse of the programme, which combines football activities with the magic of Disney storytelling. Swedish star Schelin spent time with fans, signing autographs and meeting with local youngsters, specially invited by the Swedish Football Association.

Lotta Schelin, UEFA Playmakers ambassador, said: “I’m honoured to be part of the UEFA Playmakers family! Witnessing the sheer joy and excitement of so many young girls here in Malmö is incredibly inspiring. If I can play a part in sparking their interest in football, helping them take those first steps onto the pitch, that’s already a huge victory.”

Schelin possesses an impressive tally of 185 caps and a record 88 goals for Sweden, as well as three UEFA Women’s Champions League winner’s medals. Beyond her on-field achievements, she passionately advocates for the growth of the sport, making her an ideal ambassador to inspire young girls to embrace the game.

Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director of Women’s Football, said: “Lotta is a legend of the game and we are delighted to have her as part of the Playmakers team. She embodies the spirit of our programme, and her involvement will undoubtedly empower more young girls to embrace football with joy and determination!”

The UEFA Playmakers programme uses Disney’s storytelling to give girls aged five to eight early exposure to playing football. UEFA Playmakers sessions are centred around famous Disney movie storylines and teach social skills, fundamental physical movement and the basics of football in a fun and safe environment.

Unlike traditional football programmes, each of UEFA Playmakers’ ten initial training sessions follow the narrative of Disney and Pixar films such as Frozen II, The Incredibles 2, Moana or Encanto. Equipped with footballs, bibs and cones, trained coaches encourage participants to play the roles of popular characters, such as Elsa, Elastigirl, Moana or Mirabel, bringing the films’ action scenes to life through movement, teamwork and their imagination.

UEFA Playmakers inspired by Disney is now operating across 47 of its 55 national member associations, from Belfast to Baku and has already introduced football to over 95,000 girls aged from five to eight across Europe.