The 2013 Ladies’ Turn season thusfar has been a huge success!
In each of the four regions (Saint Louis, Thies, Kaolack, and Kaffrine), girls’ teams fought to reach the semifinals and represent their region. Regular season games were played on central neighborhood fields so that as many people as possible would see girls playing soccer. Crowds gathered when they heard hit senegalese songs blasted by our DJs, and stayed to watch the game. Our matches were covered by the press, raising the visibility of women’s soccer from the local neighborhood field to the regional and national level.
For our playoffs, Ladies’ Turn organized two very different but fun semifinals.
For more pictures of the semifinals, check out below and on our Facebook page:
Kounghel Semifinal Photos
U.S. Embassy Semifinal Photos
The U.S. Embassy hosted the first semifinal between the Saint Louis champion, Médina Marmyal and the Thies champion, Union Sportive Thiessoise. Saint Louis is the former colonial capital in the north of Senegal near the border with Mauritania, and Thies is a city about 60 kilometers from Dakar. The teams played on the Embassy’s Ebbets Field in Dakar on grass after playing all of their games on sand fields. Médina Marmyal won 3-2 in penalty kicks and secured Saint Louis’ spot in the final which will be played in their hometown.
Kounghuel hosted the second semifinal on a central field in their town. The Kaoclak champions, the Amazones of Ndoffane, traveled 2 hours to Kounghuel to play the champions of Kaffrine. Unfortunately for the champion Maali team of Kounghuel, the home field advantage was not enough. The Amazones dominated the game and won 1-0.
In addition to our games, the Ladies' Turn documentary continues to bring us more fans. Our documentary was shown on national television in Senegal two weeks ago. It was also screened at night outside in downtown Dakar during the Festival Image and Vie.
For the moment, we are getting ready for our final today in Saint Louis! We’ll get back to you about what region, Saint Louis or Kaolack, wins the title of 2013 Ladies’ Turn champion! You can follow the Final today, Sunday June 23 at 11am East Coast Time.
Thank you again for your support help.
Nio Far! "In solidarity,"
Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team
A few days ago I received a phone call from Lala, a former 2009 and 2011 Ladies Turn participant and coach of a beginner’s team in Saint Louis, Senegal. I could actually feel the excitement in her voice resonate through the telephone as she exclaimed: “we just had our first practice, we have twenty girls and the parents came out to support us. Pray for us, we’re ready!”
Ladies Turn 2013 kicked off in the regions of Thiès, Saint-Louis, Kaolack and Kounguel regions of Senegal this past weekend (18th-19th of May)! Tournament games will be played every Wednesday and Saturday through the 5th of June in local neighborhoods. Lala and her team hope to make it to the play-offs, which will be held on the 12th and 15th of June, and the GRAND FINAL in Saint Louis the 22nd of June! You can follow the action through live updates, learn more about the teams, players and the regions where the tournament takes place by liking us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LadiesTurnSoccer?fref=ts Or follow us on twitter @LadiesTurn
This year, Ladies Turn decided to do things a bit differently. In order to better accomplish our goal of increasing the visibility of women’s soccer throughout the country, we decided to decentralize our tournament, this means playing in regions where girls playing soccer is less common than in the capital city of Dakar. After a strategic assessment of various locations, taking into account the enthusiasm of local girls and feasibility of location, we chose the urban regions of Thiès and Saint-Louis and the rural regions of Kaolack and Kounguel.
Unlike past tournaments, this year Ladies Turn is entirely reserved for beginner level girl’s. We wrestled long and hard with this decision, but in the end chose to include only beginner girls in hopes of starting from the ground up to build support for the growing women’s soccer movement in Senegal. We want former players like Lala to engage and take ownership in this movement, looking beyond the tournament, to the future of women’s soccer in Senegal.
Like Lala shared with me, “I’m doing this because, well, I’m getting older, I’m not going to be playing much longer, the future of women’s soccer in Senegal, it lies in the hands of these girls, it will just go away if we don’t do something about it”. Through passionate women like Lala, girls are learning to stand out in spaces where people don’t think they belong. With each step on the soccer pitch, their voices grow a little bit louder. Ladies Turn is about much more than gaining soccer skills, it is empowerment in action.
Together with the girls, we thank you for being a part of our Ladies' Turn team,
Nio Far ( we are in it together)
Beth, Jennifer and all of us at Ladies Turn
Great news! Thanks to you generous donations, Ladies’ Turn surpassed Global Giving’s new organization challenge of raising $5,000! We raised over $6,000 and a permanent spot on the Global Giving website! While we are still fundraising for our 2013 season, our place on Global Giving is key to ensuring that we have the resources to allow young women in Senegal to play soccer.
This winter, the Ladies’ Turn documentary is touring throughout Europe and finally made it to the US! We screened the film at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University on February 13, 2013 (Photos). The film allows Ladies’ Turn to share our story and give people a glimpse into the lives of the Senegalese girls who dare to play soccer. At Princeton, the university women’s soccer team attended, showing the solidarity that exists between women who play soccer around the world. Their captain asked Gaelle Yomi, our Communications Manager, in town from Dakar, and Jennifer Browning about the challenges women face playing soccer in Senegal (Article). Princeton is also displaying a collection of photos from the Ladies’ Turn 2011 season.
If you have not seen our three-minute trailer, check it out! If you would be interested in organizing a documentary screening party to benefit Ladies’ Turn, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org). We still need to raise more money to get the girls back on the field in Senegal!
Thank you again for your support and for being part of the women’s soccer movement in Senegal!
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