This project makes possible the continuation of a sports program for Tibetan girls in Tibet that has already resulted in two college scholarships. The program builds skills and self-esteem, and puts Tibetan girls in play for athletic scholarships in China, where Tibetans boys are sought out for their greater physical capacity, including oxygen uptake and other high-altitude adaptations. Trainings embrace physical self-care and the pursuit of excellence through practice and teamwork.
Sports recruiters in China have for years traversed the Tibetan Plateau scouting for star athletes among Tibetan boys who they consider to be physically advantaged due to high-altitude genetics and conditioning. Many of these young men have received sports scholarships or have found a career path through sports. This coaching and training project has the potential to provide a similar leg-up for Tibetan girls, while building self-esteem during adolescence when it can be most challenged.
This project has been developed to provide intensive and motivational soccer programs for Tibetan female adolescents at three school locations in Tibetan areas, where girls' sports are currently unavailable. Programs will produce skilled and confident players who could continue to play competitively beyond high school. Players will practice and progress guided by the discipline that every player needs to control their mind and body before controlling the ball, and before controlling the game.
This project will provide Tibetan schoolgirls with opportunities to compete with boys for scholarships in higher education by building confidence and competitiveness through sports. Tibetan girls who show proficiency in soccer should attract the attention of college sports recruiters who seek out Tibetans for their physical advantages. More well-educated, confident Tibetan women would take on more assertive roles in Tibetan society and could contribute to greater equity in Tibet.
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