Europe is teaming up for a Global Goals World Cup in Copenhagen this May
Through leading Global Goals tournaments around the world, we have come in contact with many inspiring and committed female coaches, who we believe are one key component to come up with new new approaches to get more women active.
Because we, as women working in the sport and football sector, need to come up with new approaches to get more women active. So with co-founding from Erasmus+ Programme we set out to test new approaches and invited twelve european coaches to take part in our special EU Ambassador Couch Programme.
Our first step required putting out a call to organizations and coaches. We were pleased with the response and thrilled to form our group of twelve female coaches living and working in the EU. The first phase of the project began in Copenhagen in December 2018. Now the coaches are setting their teams and getting ready to return to Copenhagen in May.
When the coaches left Copenhagen back in December, they were set for success.
NANNA: How is it going with setting up your teams?
BECCA, Bristol, UK: We have had 2 training sessions so far, plus a launch event that we did in December in which we played football in a café (red: Becca starts giggling) I am surprised by how well it is going so far; everyone enjoys the training sessions. I for one always come away buzzing, happy and ready for the weekend! And we have a great mixture of people from different backgrounds that potentially would not normally mix together. Some of the girls are using the sessions as their lunch break on a Friday, which they say makes the day go faster and gives them something to look forward to.
CARMEN, Berlin, Germany: The set-up has been a year-long endeavor since we are mainly targeting refugee women living in isolation, but we just had our first training sessions in 2019 and the team is off to a really good start. For me, team Champions ohne Grenzen and the participation in the GGWCup is the natural extension of my own experiences of the past 15 years. As a coach I want to change something for other girls and women who, like I was, are the new person in a new neighbourhood slowly discovering the strength of community. I believe that playing on a football team has shaped my life. It's the place where I got to know what community really means and how it really feels. I therefore am keen to endeavour on a way to the Global Goals, using the strength we can only build together.
NANNA: Sounds like you have both been up to a good start. How did you start the conversations about the picking on of the Global Goals?
CARMEN: After one practice we wanted to talk to the team about the Global Goals. We were afraid the Global Goals would be hard to grasp and that the talk would become too stiff. Instead we engaged in a very emotional conversation about ending poverty and good education, which allowed the team members to share stories about what they had heard or seen and which resulted in a discussion about who is excluded from the educational system in Germany. While we were picking up on the headlines of a whale found with its stomach full of plastic garbage, our own empty chips bags, plastic bottles and other garbage piled up. So much trash for only one team meeting! In the end, we decided to make it our project to recycle the trash from our homes and from the sports ground to create training material and team gear! So we are playing for goal 12 now - responsible consumption and production. Which gave a good feeling of #challengeaccepted and #allforone.
NANNA: How about you, Becca, did your team already decide on a goal?
BECCA: A lot of the girls at my team have suffered, currently suffer with or know someone suffering with mental health issues. This is also at the heart of what we try to do at Feel Real; improving girls’ confidence, self-esteem and empowerment through sport and exercise. When we discussed the Global Goals at the launch event a lot of the girls wanted to focus on Goal 3: Health & Wellbeing - as it is pertinent to them.
BECCA, cont: This week one of the players brought along her boyfriend as a fan- club-referee-camera-man, which was a positive surprise. It was great to see her partner supporting her and encouraging her. She told that she’s been trying to recruit her friends to play, but that some of them have preconceived ideas about football. Which is a bit of a challenge. So we might adapt the title of our sessions to call it a Fitness Session to remove some of the stigma and stereotypes that some people may have surrounding women playing football. Another challenge is to get the girls passports ready to travel to Copenhagen in May. Some have never left Bristol or England before so that’s a big step.
NANNA: We can’t wait to see the team in Copenhagen. So you have the action point covered. What about scoring goals and crowd points?
BECCA: We do lots of games, learn and teach each other skills and tricks, matches, penalties - and also Karen teaches us a new gymnastics move each week! We are hoping to use gymnastics in Copenhagen to get the crowd going!
CARMEN: (Nodding) The same goes for us. During training we mix football with other sports activities, which we hope will give us an advance crowd-wise as well.
As soon as we have released all twelve Erasmus+ teams, you can start cheering for your favorite team and help them score action points. We will release al twelve teams on International Women's Day, March 8th.
Until then, please follow the coaches and the European teams on their journey to Copenhagen on their social profiles and here.
About Feel Real and CHAMPIONS ohne GRENZEN
Feel Real F.C strives to inspire and engage women and girls in sports and exercise with the objective of helping them to improve their confidence, enhance self-esteem and most importantly to have fun with friends in a healthy, inclusive environment. Learn about Feel Real here.
Champions Ohne Grenzen is a non-profit organization dedicated to designing a more sustainable "welcoming culture" for everybody in the German federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg using sports as main tool for interaction and empowerment. The NGO provides cost-free sports practice and other structures for further orientation and learning for both: traditional sporting structures as well as new arrivals in Berlin. Learn about Champions Ohne Grenzen here.
You can set a team too and join the GGWCup Europe in Copenhagen
On May 14, 2019 more than 25 teams will set out to save the world by competing for goals when The Global Goals World Cup arrives in Copenhagen, Denmark, with an European Edition. And your team can be one of them. Please find more information here.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.