The Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, with the assistance of its zones, has launched a Girls in Soccer Committee. The committee’s aim is an inspiring one:
To build, inspire, enrich, and support girls in soccer
It all began last November, when the committee’s Chair, Kim Manzo of Xtreme FC/EMSA North, was discussing the decline in female registrations with her zone’s Executive Director. As a first step toward addressing the issue, they coordinated an all-girls centre at the FC Memorial Challenge – with the Panda’s coach and the REX Academy girls assisting in the event. Kim explained, “It lit a fire under me that not only should we be doing something like this at one centre, but it should be a city-wide initiative.”
And so began a dialogue between key female members in EMSA to promote “girl power” using soccer. Together with Kim, the committee is comprised of club directors, administrators, board directors, and a zone president. The diverse group of strong women leaders has set out to determine why the decline in female registrations exists, and of course, how they can reverse this trend.
“The foundation of why us women have created this committee is the reasons soccer is such a great sport for girls,” stated Committee member, Ardette Horsfield of Spruce Grove Soccer. “This sport we love gives us confidence on and off the field. It teaches us important life skills and values we can’t always learn on our own. Values like team work and to strive for excellence in everything we do. That we can push our physical limit time and time again, and that failure isn’t permanent, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Team work teaches us to sacrifice for others and believe in ourselves. We create friendships and bonds that are everlasting. The list of what this sport we love has given us is endless, the life skills we have gained by playing with 10 other girls on the field is priceless.”
To help breath life into this message, several of the EMSA zones have run Girls in Soccer events which encourage registered players to ‘bring a friend’. The hope? To ignite a passion and love for the game among girls who haven’t played the game before. This love of soccer can lead a girl down many paths. Whether it’s refereeing, coaching, or playing, the game will equip participants with invaluable tools with which to face the rest of life and its challenges.
Well done on this endeavor – we look forward to seeing the benefits it has on young women in Alberta!
For information or resources, you can contact Kim Manzo here