On 8th March the Foundation organized the ‘Girls Score Goals’ tournament to celebrate International Women’s Day. The aim was to provide girls with a platform to play and compete. While the Foundation focuses on Grassroots development (for children between 5 to 12 years), it decided to organize a tournament for girls under 16 years of age – since there are very few opportunities for them to compete. Everyone involved with the tournament was extremely happy to be on the pitch for this initiative.
Overall the tournament was a success with 8 teams participating – 7 Star (GFDC Bicholim), GFDC Dona Paula, St. Thomas Princess Pea, Mae de Deus Princess Pea, Saraswat Vidyalaya, Khelegi Toh Khilegi (Supported by Dempo), Dona Leonar Memorial School and Anjuna Celtics. After the group stage matches, teams 7 Star, GFDC Dona Paula, Khelegi to Khilegi and Dona Leonar Memorial School advanced to the semi-finals.
GFDC Dona Paula played against Dona Leonar in the 1st semi-final. Dona Leonar emerged winners in this fiercely competitive match. The 2nd semi-final, between 7 Star and Khelegi to Khilegi was a draw even after extra time. It was the penalties that finally decided the winner. Khelegi to Khilegi’s goalkeeper, Mamta scored a goal for her team in the last penalty, taking the team to the finals! Teams Khelegi to Khilegi and Dona Leonar played the final match. Khelegi to Khilegi dominated the match and won the final 3-nil.
We were honoured to have players from the Indian women’s team, Michel Castanha and Karishma Shirvoikar felicitate the winners and be part of the awards ceremony.
Speaking about the tournament Michel said, “I’m really happy to see that the Forca Goa Foundation took the initiative to organize the one-day tournament for girls. And it is very important to have such a tournament especially for the young ones to get motivated, to gain interest and love for the game. It will also help and encourage them and their parents to see that they can choose football as their career. It was a one-day tournament but girls got an opportunity to play and to showcase their talent. Our Goan girls hardly get to play one tournament in a year, we need to have more and more tournaments like this and even bigger, longer tournaments to increase the standard of women’s football”.
Her statement reiterates the fact that there is a long way to go before the sport becomes an equal playing field and we at the Foundation call upon other organizations to collaborate with us and create such tournaments in the future.