‘Do it for the girls’ became our unofficial slogan, and a clear goal was established: to introduce girls from all backgrounds and all neighbourhoods to the beautiful game

Last week I had the privilege to help organise a special football clinic. The clinic was special for a number of reasons, the first being that it took place on Curaçao, where I was born and raised. Where a little piece of my heart will always remain.

Foremost, however was the way the clinic came together and the power of grassroots football. Local coaches Danae Daal and Verda Betrian are no strangers to the game, having played themselves and currently breathing life back into the women’s program. So when the opportunity arose to lend them a hand, I was glad to do so.

Since getting girls to the pitch isn’t alway easy, a new strategy is implemented where we bring the game to the girls. This first edition was held on a small piece of the pitch in Barber. From the second we spoke about possibly organising the clinic, a community of women rallied and made it happen.

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© Shadiah Elhage

‘Do it for the girls’ became our unofficial slogan, and a clear goal was established: to introduce girls from all backgrounds and all neighbourhoods to the beautiful game and get a true grassroots movement started – by involving the community and creating role models.

Ex-footballers Sanne Kleijwegt (Johan Cruyff Institute and former Netherlands u19 player) and Laura Kelderman (Phyisical Therapist Dutch National Female Futsalteam and current player Wartburgia Ladies) were gracious enough to take a few hours from their vacation to introduce the girls to the basics of football.

Local organisation InnerWheels donated a bag of balls, and Shadiah Elhage captured the moment some of these girls forever fell in love with football.

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(L-R) Sanne Kleijwegt, Hassnah Elhage, Verda Betrian, Danae Daal, Laura Kelderman

 

I hope this clinic serves an indication of what 2019 will bring – a women’s world cup year where a community of women work together to grow the game. A year where women break barriers, and always remember to send the ladder back down.

Do it for the girls.

Elhage Stentler Consultancy

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

1018VN, Amsterdam

+31 6 10191794

info@escathletes.pro

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