While ONE GOAL cheers on teams and plays witness to the passion of this sport, we have another 'competition' on our minds -- the 'competition' between Asia's children and their 'sporting chance' at life.
There are close to 200 million children who are malnourished in Asia; of Asia's 165 million children under age five, 100 million of them suffer from stunting. Malnutrition, stunting, and a poor awareness of good nutrition mean Asia's children are not getting the 'sporting chance' to excel in life. It is fact that a child born today into a poor community in Asia will not have the same opportunities to participate and develop through organised sport as his or her counterpart in Europe or North America. Asia's children lack the opportunities to equally compete in sport with their international counterparts, but they also lack the stamina and health due to malnutrition.
ONE GOAL welcomes the opportunity to bring attention and awareness to the issue of child malnutrition in Asia at the 2014 Women's Asian Cup. With football as the catalyst, we hope to powerfully inspire and mobilise the football community to take action to increase the number of children in Asia who survive and thrive.
While we cheer on Asia's women's football teams competing for the 2014 Cup, we also highlight the nutritional status of their home nations.
23% of children under-five in Vietnam suffer from stunting (low height for age); 4% of children under-five suffer from wasting (low weight for height); 5.3% of children under-five born with low birth weight.
7% of children under-five born with a low birth weight. Low birth weight is an indicator of the mother's nutrition and is often linked to premature births.
1% of Japan's 5.4 million children under-five suffer from wasting; 8% of children under-five born with a low birth weight.
10% of children under-five suffer from stunting; 3% of children under-five suffer from wasting; 3% of children under-five born with a low birth weight.
10% of children under-five suffer from stunting; 4% of children under-five born with a low birth weight.
8% of children under-five suffer from stunting; 2% of Jordan's 817,000 children under-five suffer from wasting.
35% of Myanmar's children under-five suffer from stunting; 8% of children under-five suffer from wasting; 8.6% are born with a low birth weight.
16% of Thailand's children under-five suffer from stunting; 5% suffer from wasting; 6.6% born with low birth weight.
Read the full report: Fuelling Asia's Footballers for the Future
In conjunction with the Women's Asian Cup 2014 Final, ONE GOAL and partners are hosting a Sport for Development Conference in Ho Chi Minh City that will highlight the important role of girls participation in grassroots football as part of the aim to level the nutritional playing field for Asia's children.