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Archived - Minister Ambrose announces investment in youth soccer injury prevention programs

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Canada Soccer, FIFA and Canadian Sport for Life bring soccer injury prevention programs to Canada

July 23, 2015 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health with Victor Montagliani, President, Canada Soccer, Dr. Jiri Dvorak, Chief Medical Officer, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and Richard Way, CEO, Canadian Sport for Life today announced a total investment of $2 million aimed at reducing injuries in Canadian youth soccer players.

This investment supports two soccer injury prevention programs: FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation. FIFA 11+, developed by FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Centre, and specifically targeting youth age 14 years and older, is a series of exercises aimed at strengthening the core and leg muscles, and improving neuromuscular control, coordination, balance, agility and jump technique.  Movement Preparation, developed by Canadian Sport for Life, is a physical literacy program that uses similar exercises, but is geared towards soccer players aged 7-13 years. The goal of FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation is to reduce injury rates among youth playing soccer, while keeping them active, healthy and injury-free, on the field and off.

Both FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation will be implemented in community soccer clubs across the country as early as this fall.

Quick Facts

  • Soccer is the largest participatory team sport in Canada and is considered the fastest growing sport in the country.
  • Among youth, soccer injuries account for approximately 20% of sports-related emergency department visits in Canada.
  • This is one of many partnerships made under the Government of Canada’s Multi-Sectoral Partnership Approach to Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, which invests approximately $20 million per year in projects that focus on addressing common risk factors, such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, and smoking, to prevent chronic disease. 
  • Both the Public Health Agency of Canada and FIFA are investing $1 million over four years for this initiative, for a total investment of $2 million.


“With soccer being the largest participatory team sport in Canada, and soccer injuries accounting for a significant percentage of sports-related injuries in the country, programs like FIFA 11+ and Movement Preparation play an important role in improving safety and preventing injuries while also encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle. I look forward to working with partners to see this program implemented in youth soccer practices across the country.”
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

“Canada Soccer is proud to partner with the Public Health Agency of Canada, FIFA and Canadian Sport for Life in the delivery of this important Legacy initiative on injury prevention. Soccer is the largest participatory team sport in Canada and as such we have a responsibility to educate young Canadian soccer players on injury prevention. This is a perfect example of engagement and collaboration with our stakeholders to ensure we provide the safest possible training environment for our young players. We are focusing on sustainable practices and generating tangible health benefits for the sport of soccer and Canadian society.”
Victor Montagliani,
President of Canada Soccer and Chair of the National Organising Committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™

“Scientific evidence has shown that injuries can be reduced by up to 50% if the complete warm-up programme “FIFA 11+” is practised on a regular basis. We are very pleased with this collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada Soccer, which will ensure the FIFA Women’s World Cup leaves a lasting legacy for soccer players across Canada.”
Prof. Jiri Dvorak.
FIFA Chief Medical Officer

“The Sport for Life Society is thrilled to partner with Canada Soccer to promote the development of physical literacy to improve the health, performance and enjoyment of Canadian children and youth. We appreciate the Public Health Agency of Canada's belief in this project and the opportunity to build more resilient athletes.”
Richard Way
CEO, Canadian Sport for Life

Associated Links

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Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983

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