For to many years, I was told that there were girls sports and boys sports and that there were certain things that were okay for girls to do and some things that only boys should do.
Living in the Indian society shows us that there is so much of tradition and cultural heritage that flows with great principle and ethics. It teaches us how to respect and treat each other, and how to be individuals who are strong. We will not let anyone hold us down, but we strive always to be united and empower each other. Our most significant example is how the country united together during Independence and fought back from being oppressed and mistreated. Another example would be how the whole nation comes together to celebrate a sport like cricket.
This brings me to what I want to discuss! Do sports have a gender? Is it possible that football has fallen prey to the gender- stereotyped box? Yes! Football has been put into that box. Time and again I have heard these phrase’s “Hahahaha……Girls and football?” or “You play Football? Do you even know how to kick a ball?”
If we come from a society that has been so rich with respect, ethics, and unity to stand with each other then can we also unite for women’s football? Some of you are probably already are supporters of the idea and are encouraging your daughters, nieces, and other girls to move forward breaking these stereotypes, but there are a few who need a little nudge to see how it’s not a man’s game. Football has so much to offer -- men and women, girls and boys. The physical health benefits are tremendous, and it also helps on an emotional and mental level. According to studies, football has been shown to strengthen women to make them less susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, and the activity helps them deal with depression and other such factors that women face.
There are quite a few voices rising to speak for women’s sports and women like Mary Kom, Sania Nehwal, and others are showing Indian girls and women that it is not just for men and boys, that they too have a chance to play. So stand with us as we EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIRLS. Join our women’s program and let your daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends achieve the dream they may have had to become a footballer and maybe even to create history just like Mia Hamm, and Alex Morgan and other women are.
Joanna Cunningham, Assistant Coach, Women's Program, BCFC