Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is Brazil ready to embrace women's soccer?

Left to Right: Julie Foudy, Amy Flindt, Ange Molony, Brandi Chastain

On Thursday the 23rd of May at Pacaembu stadium, Ms Flindt and I turned into giggling teens bursting with the excitement of meeting a couple of our childhood heroes. Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain were members of the US Women's soccer team throughout the 1990s and rose to fame after the World Cup win in 1999 (Chastain's celebration became as famous as the goal she scored).  

Foudy and Chastain spent the week in Sao Paulo training coaches about ways to incorporate and encourage girls to join and then remain involved in soccer. In addition to this, the stars worked with about 125 junior girls in soccer clinics throughout their week long stay.
Pic with permission from @eticawinter
On Thursday evening a panel was held at Pacaembu to discuss the hurdles that Brazil faces in trying to attract more women (and support of women) to sports. Both Foudy and Chastain spoke about the struggles that the US faced in the 70s to get women into sports and that this struggle for equality in sports in not a new one. They encouraged the attendees to come together to come up with strategies to get the sports clubs, media and the government on board. I was shocked at some of the numbers that were presented to us: 13 million women/girls in soccer in the US vs Brazil's 400,000. Even if you consider that Brazil might not be able to get accurate results the difference in numbers is still alarming.

So, what can Graded do?

First - Graded girls you gotta keep playing sports!

Second - Create opportunities for girls in our community to get involved in sports.

Starting in August I would like to see our Graded Basketball and Soccer Cares clubs make an effort to attract more girls to these groups. It would be great to start with more Graded girls helping out (Gabriella M is already on board) and then we need to come up with creative ways to get the visiting girls to change their mindsets a little about sports, hopefully this will happen by having fun! Girls who play sports gain confidence, stay healthy and develop leadership skills, three awesome reasons to make sure this happens.

Check out this video aimed at keeping girls on the field:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Members of the Graded community are encouraged to comment and all comments are moderated by Blair Peterson, the High School Principal.