Coach Michell, SWB Nicaragua alumna.
Michell to Represent SWB at the Women’s World Cup’s Festival ‘23
We are thrilled to share that Michell, captain of Granada FC and an alumna coach at Soccer Without Borders (SWB) Nicaragua, will be representing SWB as a youth delegate at Festival ‘23, an 8-day youth festival of ‘football for good’, to be held in Sydney, Australia during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023’s quarter-final week.
Festival ‘23 will showcase how the world’s game can be a powerful force to foster positive social change. From August 6th to 14th, Michell will be among 70 International Youth Leaders from 30 different countries brought together for capacity building training, a Fair-Play Football Festival, and community engagement activities.
With a major focus upon gender equity and empowerment, the programs, trainings, and activities taking place at Festival ‘23 are designed to build a lasting social legacy. Therefore, the impact of Michell’s participation is sure to extend well past the 8-day festival itself as they return back to their home communities with a newfound set of skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
”I am very happy to have the opportunity to represent SWB in Australia during Festival ‘23,” said Michell. “I am very excited to know that I am going to live a new experience that will allow me to learn and see other points of view about the impact of sport on social change. I hope to return to Nicaragua with a better understanding of these ideas in order to share with my community the experience and knowledge learned throughout the festival.”
Upon returning home to Granada, Michell will be hosting an event for the local SWB Nicaragua community where she will be sharing the lessons learned from Festival ‘23. This local event, happening August 23rd, will not only be the perfect opportunity to share some exciting, first-hand stories from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but will more importantly be a chance for Michell to inspire her fellow coaches, youth participants, and the entire community about the importance of advocating for gender equity in sports.
Coach Reyna Named Granada’s Outstanding Female Athlete
Reyna – a coach, program alumna, and former Nicaraguan National Team player from SWB Nicaragua (or Fútbol Sin Fronteras as it’s known locally) – was presented with an award for “Outstanding Female Athlete of the Municipality of Granada in Women’s Football.” The honor, presented by the Mayor of Granada, the Nicaraguan Sports Institute, the Alexis Arguello Sports Movement, and the National Sports Association, was given in recognition of Reyna’s unwavering commitment to leadership and her outstanding work promoting and implementing girls' soccer programming in Nicaragua.
“This is for girls to see that all their dreams can be fulfilled,” Reyna said. “As long as they persevere and are consistent in everything they do.”
Reyna’s journey with Futbol Sin Fronteras (FSF) began when she was a child. As an FSF participant, it didn’t take long for the soccer pitch to become a space where she felt happy and safe. Later in life, as a player on the Nicaraguan National Team, soccer provided Reyna with the opportunity to travel to many countries, representing her country and the women’s game. It was during this time that Reyna developed her passion for leadership and recognized the influence that she could have on not only girls, but her entire community as well. This passion, combined with her experience as an FSF participant, led her to return to the organization, this time as an FSF coach!
“Well at first, I appreciated the way that I was treated by [my FSF] coaches when I was a participant,” Reyna said. “Then when I got a little older, I knew that I wanted to be just like them, to influence others just like they had done for me.”
When she began her new role as a FSF coach, Reyna immediately recognized the importance of creating a safe, fun, and welcoming space for the girls on her team. She focused on ways in which her players could experience the joy and freedom of soccer, just like she did as a child.
Since beginning her coaching career, Reyna has earned her Level C Coaching License, a huge testament to how hard she has worked to hone her craft and to ensure that every participant she coaches has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Her success as a coach is not only due to her experience as a player, but also because she is able to so clearly reflect those she serves–bringing her story back full circle.
"Why is it important to support female footballers?” reflects Reyna. “Well to start, it is important because it’s too common for a community to not have any organizations or role models who are working to support women's football.
When I was a young player at tournaments, there was always little support. Only your parents or your close friends would go to see you–usually only your parents would even know you were there! So now, I try to ensure that girls are empowered through football, ensuring that even more girls have access to the game.”
Congratulations Reyna! Your contributions on and off the field are not only making a lasting impact on the lives of many girls and women, but also for the game of women's soccer as a whole.
SWB Nicaragua Participants Give Back on Earth Day
In April, in celebration of Earth Day, participants and coaches from SWB Nicaragua spent the day giving back to the local community by cleaning up Campo La Villa and Multiestadio Granada, fields used to play the game we all love.
At SWB, we work hard to "get them to the field." But sometimes, as our Nicaragua team reminds us, it is important to show our soccer fields some love as well!
Reyna receiving Outstanding Female Athlete award.
An SWB participant giving back on Earth Day.
Soccer field cleanup fun for Earth Day 2023.