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Nov 12, 2013

Ladies' Turn Global Outreach Campaign

Film Festival in Marseille, France
Film Festival in Marseille, France

The Ladies’ Turn global outreach campaign continues to create awareness of women in Senegal struggling to be heard both on and off the soccer pitch. Through our award winning documentary film, directed by Helene Harder, we tell the story of these courageous women who are fighting for the right to play soccer, a space where many believe women do not belong.  In doing so, we show how women are taking on new leadership roles in their communities while demanding greater societal acceptance for what they can accomplish both on and off the field. With each film screening, Ladies Turn is not merely stirring a passion for the women’s game; we are inciting social change.

Last month our documentary was selected to screen at the film festival Films, Femmes, Méditerranée in Marseille, France. Director Helene Harder teamed up with Ladies’ Turn President Seyni Ndir Seck to participate in a lively public discussion about Ladies’ Turn following the screening of the film. Our presence in the festival stirred an enthusiastic interest in the role that sports can play in the struggle for women’s rights both in Senegal and beyond. Helene and Seyni were even featured on the regional news (Channel 3) and interviewed about their experience in Senegal! Our participation in mediatized events is a crucial step in shattering beliefs about femininity that subtly keep women out of important roles. As Helene states in the France 3 interview “women’s struggle on the soccer field as well as in the field of cinema is far from being won…these initiatives are extremely important to generate awareness about the conditions of women’s lives around the world.”

Ladies’ Turn has appeared in several Film Festivals over the past few months. This May, we participated in the CineFoot Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The CineFoot Festival aims to show fans that soccer is more than a game, by exploring the impact of soccer in society. CineFoot was a perfect venue to share our experience of how soccer can be a vehicle for equality. In July we were selected to appear in the Rwanda Film Festival in the city of Kigali. This year’s theme was women in society, and proved to be an ideal opportunity to showcase the change making work that women soccer players are undertaking in Senegal. In August, we were nominated for feature documentary at the Tiger Paw Sports Film Festival held in New Delhi, India. We will soon be screening Ladies’ Turn at Duke University in North Carolina and in Montréal, Canada as well as in Mans and Evreux, France. With each screening we build a global community of support for the women in Senegal who are struggling to make a mark in society through their involvement in soccer. If you are interested in learning more about how you could bring Ladies' Turn, the film, to a venue near you, please contact us at ladiesturn@gmail.com.

 

From all of us at Ladies Turn, we thank you for being on our team!

 

Nio Far ( we are in it together)

Ladies
Ladies' Turn screens in Brazil!
Ladies
Ladies' Turn at Rwanda Film Festival!
Seyni and Helene on Channel 3 in France !
Seyni and Helene on Channel 3 in France !

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Aug 13, 2013

Ladies Turn takes Saint Louis

Saint Louis shoots on Ndoffane
Saint Louis shoots on Ndoffane

The sun was scorching and the music was blaring. This was the moment the girls (and the Ladies Turn team) had been preparing for all season: the grand finale between Médina Marmiyal of Saint Louis and Amazones de Ndoffane of Kaolack. From the stands, Saint Louis supporters held their breath as # 11, a slight, energetic player from Saint Louis dribbled down the field, outsmarting and outrunning Kaolack’s (Ndoffane) defense.

 

I placed my camera beside me, caught up in the excitement, I stood up, clasping my hands together in front of my mouth and shouting for her to take the shot. Time seemed to stand still. She lifted her foot with finesse and strength, sending the ball straight into the net! It was a perfect goal. Nothing but net. Leaping to congratulate her, number 11’s teammates threw their arms around her shoulders, holding her tight, screaming in elation. Kneeling on the sidelines, I watched in awe as the crowd behind me went wild. A group of teenage girls in the stands were chanting in Wolof, dancing, shaking their hips, their arms interlocked as they shouted out number 11’s name.

 

Their enthusiasm caught on like fire, soon half the stadium joined in. The game wasn’t over yet, and as the chanting died down, the team lined up for the kick off. I looked closely at number 11, who kept smiling, serenely. In the span of a few minutes, something about her had changed; supported by her friends and community, she had accomplished something HUGE in front of a crowd screaming her name. A spark of confidence radiated from her smile, and I just knew her life would never be the same.

 

Ladies Turn is about helping girls realize their potential to have an impact in their world and developing the courage to do so. Our 2013 tournament touched the lives of over 300 girls, who learned through teamwork and dedication that reaching their goal is possible. Community members saw their daughters, neighbors, friends or sisters accomplish something special, in a space, which is normally reserved for boys. The girls had fun, the crowds had fun, and women’s soccer is the talk of the town. We congratulate you for your role in making Ladies Turn 2013 a success!

 

As our organization evolves, we want to ensure that the girls who participate in Ladies Turn have the greatest opportunity to impact their communities. We believe that providing educational support to participants, in addition to organizing a national Tournament, is the first step to making the girls’ dreams a reality. We promise to keep you informed as our activities grow!

 

Beth, Jennifer and the entire Ladies Turn team thank you once again for helping us score!

 

Nio Far ( we are in it together)

The crowd goes wild
The crowd goes wild
Saint Louis takes off
Saint Louis takes off
All smiles :)
All smiles :)
Jun 24, 2013

Ladies' Turn 2013 regular season ends with 2 great semifinals!

Medina Marmyal celebrates their semifinal win.
Medina Marmyal celebrates their semifinal win.

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

Medina Marmyal shoots the winning penalty kick!
Medina Marmyal shoots the winning penalty kick!
Jennifer talks to the local radio before semifinal
Jennifer talks to the local radio before semifinal
Amazone player throws in the ball before some fans
Amazone player throws in the ball before some fans
Kaffrine players share water during a hot game.
Kaffrine players share water during a hot game.
Amazones in their bus for a triumphant return!
Amazones in their bus for a triumphant return!

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