Scenes from the 2023 Copa de Paz tournament
Copa de Paz 2023: Celebrating the International Day of Peace
The International Day of Peace, observed globally on September 21st, was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace.
Each year at SWB Nicaragua, the International Day of Peace is celebrated with the Copa de Paz (the Peace Cup), a cherished SWB tradition and the region’s largest all-girls soccer tournament.
Taking place over three consecutive days, the 2023 edition of the tournament brought together 23 teams composed of 353 participants! Of these, 235 girls came to us as current SWB participants and 118 were invited from the greater Granada community.
With its goals of promoting respect, diversity, inclusion, and dreaming big, it’s clear that the Copa de Paz is no ordinary soccer tournament. More than just lifting trophies, the Peace Cup was designed to provide opportunities for local girls to get connected to a safe and caring community where they can grow in confidence, develop leadership skills, and have fun!
For the first time, Copa de Paz included a special category, affectionately called “la Categoria Moskito” (or the Mosquito category), for girls under the age of eight. This ensured that even the youngest participants were able to experience the power of the world’s game to create positive change.
Getting Girls in the Game with the Copa Mundial Infantil Feminina
Reflecting upon the past few months, it may have seemed like the most exciting on-the-field soccer action took place in Australia and New Zealand during the Women’s World Cup. In truth, our friends Down Under were not the only ones celebrating women's soccer this summer.
Back in July, in honor of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, SWB Nicaragua launched the inaugural Copa Mundial Infantil Feminina!
The week-long tournament took place in Granada and brought together 12 all-girls teams, six from SWB Nicaragua and six from the local community. The program included an all-female referee team and was developed with the aim of celebrating, uplifting, and promoting women's soccer and getting girls in the game. It stood as a perfect reminder that "if she can see it, she can be it."
Whether it's on the global stage or in the neighborhoods of Granada, it’s incredible to see how the world's game continues to have the power to inspire positive change.
Coach Michell Represents SWB Nicaragua at Festival ‘23
As you may recall from our previous report, SWB Nicaragua's very own Coach Michell, along with fellow SWB staff member Fahaby from our Uganda hub, were chosen to participate as Festival ‘23 youth delegates.
The festival – implemented by Common Goal, Football United, and Creating Chances – took place in Sydney, Australia during the Women’s World Cup and brought together 70 International Youth Leaders from 30 countries to showcase how the world’s game can be a powerful force to foster positive social change.
Throughout the tournament’s quarterfinals week, Michell and Fahaby took part in capacity-building workshops, immersive cross-cultural activities, world-class forums, and a fair play football tournament.
Upon returning home to Granada, Michell hosted an event for the local SWB Nicaragua community where she shared the lessons learned from Festival ‘23. This local event, which took place in late August, was not only the perfect opportunity to share exciting, first-hand stories from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but was more importantly 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.
Celebrating the International Day of Peace
Creating belonging at Copa de Paz 2023
Coach Fahaby (left) & Coach Michell at Festival 23
Getting ready for Copa Mundial Infantil Feminina
Scenes from the Copa Mundial Infantil Feminina