Transform a Girl's Life Through Soccer

by Ladies' Turn
Vetted

Yes!! Game Time 2016!

Ladies' Turn is in the midst of our 2016 Women's Soccer Festival in Dakar. We picked this time of the year on purpose- to coincide with the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, held in Cameroon. The 2016 Festival is our way of celebrating women’s soccer in Senegal and expressing solidarity with the national women’s teams throughout Africa. Seyni, our President and former Captain of the Senegalese National Women's Team, knows how important it is to promote women's soccer both locally in her own country and abroad.

To open the festival, we organized a qualifying round for eight Dakar teams on November 28th.  The Aigles de Médina, Sirénes de Grand Yoff, FC Océan, Ja Fass, Médiours de Rufisque, Union sportive des Parcelles Assainies, Amazone de Yeumbeul competed to advance to the festival’s main event: a non-stop tournament where they would meet 4 teams from other regions in Senegal. The Dakar teams played hard on a sandy field in the middle of Yoff village in Dakar. We try to organize some games in the middle of neighborhoods so people see women playing and can stop to cheer them on.

Congratulations to the Amazones de Yeumbeul, the Union sportive des Parcelles Assainies, the Médiours de Rufisque, and the Sirénes de Grand Yoff who won their matches and advanced to the main event!

Yesterday on December 2, we held the non-stop tournament, and as I write, Ladies’ Turn is holding a panel talk on women’s leadership in sports. Then we’re showing the Final of the Africa Cup of Nations live on a big screen and watching it all together. I’ll write more next week when I have all the photos and results from the last two days. For now, check out our photos below and the scores from the qualifying round.

A huge thank you for all your support this year. We also want to thank our local partner- the Canadian Embassy in Dakar for supporting this Festival.

Nio Far,

Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team  

Qualifying Round Results (for those up on their women’s soccer teams in Dakar):

  • Amazones de Yeumbeul – FC Océan : 4-2 
  • Ja Fass – Union sportive des Parcelles Assainies (USPA): 3-4
  • Médiours de Rufisque – Aigles de Médina: 7-1
  • Amazones de Grand Yoff– Sirénes de Grand Yoff: Sirènes win by forfait

 

GOAL! Player from Parcelles Assainies celebrates!
GOAL! Player from Parcelles Assainies celebrates!
Seyni, Ladies
Seyni, Ladies' Turn President, at the games
JA Fass & Union Sportive Parcelles Assainies play
JA Fass & Union Sportive Parcelles Assainies play
Ja Fass Team
Ja Fass Team
Spectators surround the field to watch.
Spectators surround the field to watch.

Girls get injured playing sports. It’s inevitable, but in Senegal, there are not enough doctors well trained in sports medicine to treat all the injuries, especially not enough women. The Sports Medicine Society of the Midi-Pyrenees in collaboration with Ladies’ Turn is sending Dr. Nbalia Toure Diallo, the doctor for Senegal’s national women’s soccer team, to attend the 9th National Congress on Sports Medicine. The theme of this year’s conference: Women’s Sports and Physical Activity for People Over 65. In addition to working with the national women’s soccer team, Dr. Diallo is an orthopaedic traumatologist at the Regional Hospital in Thiès, Senegal. At the conference in Pau, she’ll be able to meet with other experts in sports medicine from all over France and share her experience as a woman doctor in sports medicine in Senegal.

Dr. Patricia Regagnon first brought Ladies’ Turn to the attention of the Sports Medicine Society of the Midi-Pyrenees, said, “For me, I turned to sports medicine later in my career as a doctor. I was motivated to learn a new specialty because I think the values that sports have help people’s mental and physical health. I organized a screening of Ladies’ Turn, and a doctor from the Sports Medicine Society was very touched by the project. She shared it with them, and the society decided to award a grant to Ladies’ Turn to promote Senegalese women’s participation in sports medicine. I'm very excited that this has led to Dr. Diallo's participation on the conference this month.”

By partnering with the Sports Medicine Society of the Midi-Pyrenees, Ladies’ Turn is excited to further expand our support for girl players both on and off the field. In 2014, the society gave Ladies’ Turn a grant for promoting women in sports medicine in Senegal. Part of the grant was used to buy much needed medical equipment and the rest will be used to finance Dr. Diallo's trip. Now, we can continue to advocate for sports medicine, women doctors, and proper care of girls’ sports injuries, and have Dr. Diallo to lead the way.

Thanks you Sports Medicine Society of the Midi-Pyrenees!

Thank you to everyone reading this update- which means you have supported us already!

Nio Far- In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Senegalese Women
Senegalese Women's Team that Dr. Diallo treats
Dr. Patricia Regagnon w/ Jennifer of Ladies
Dr. Patricia Regagnon w/ Jennifer of Ladies' Turn
Seyni represents Ladies
Seyni represents Ladies' Turn at FIFA HQ.

Seyni Ndir Seck, our President, was at FIFA headquarters for International Women’s Day- March 8, 2016. Seyni traveled to Zurich to represent Ladies’ Turn and women’s soccer in Senegal at FIFA’s Women’s Football and Leadership Conference on March 7, 2016- right before International Women’s Day.

Seyni met some stars and felt like a star. The conference presented the perfect opportunity for Seyni to share our experience with Ladies' Turn and hear from important leaders on stratgies for promoting women's soccer.  It was even was translated into French so Seyni could listen to anglophone participants- like former US women's team forward and international goals record holder, Abby Wambach.

Seyni met Lydia Nsekera from Burundi who became the first woman to be elected to the FIFA Executive Committee and Brigitte Henriques who represents the Caribbean. They discussed how to navigate national soccer federations powerful lobbies to ensure women's soccer is taken seriously. Seyni chatted with Brigitte Henriques, the head of women's soccer at the French Soccer Federation about what strategies she was using to increase support for women's soccer in France and what could work in Senegal. Billie Jean King was even there in solidarity talking about her experience as a female althete!

Seyni returned home to Dakar fresh with new ideas and armed with new knowledge. We hope that our two-pronged approach of on the ground work and international advocacy can continue to advance women's soccer in Senegal.

We also cheered the news that FIFA named Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura from Senegal to be FIFA’s first ever women Secretary General. We think this can be the beginning of a new era for women’s soccer.

So thank you as always for your support. We are living in exciting times! 

Nio far- In Solidarity,

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Selfie! Seyni meets Abby Wambach.
Selfie! Seyni meets Abby Wambach.
Seyni with Rwandan and Burundian Soccer Leaders.
Seyni with Rwandan and Burundian Soccer Leaders.
Seyni with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Seyni with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Seyni talks to journalists about Ladies
Seyni talks to journalists about Ladies' Turn

Advocacy for women's soccer is a huge part of what Ladies' Turn does. Seyni, our President, represented Ladies' Turn at the Discover Football Women's Coaches Conference organized in Berlin from November 29 to December 5, 2015. The event brought together 18 women coaches from around the world. 

“Faut pas lacher- Never Give Up!” was Seyni’s message to coaches and players alike. Seyni has lived by these words. She grew up playing soccer when almost no other women were, hiding her passion from her relatives who often didn’t approve. She rose to become captain of the Senegalese National Women’s Soccer team.  In chatting with the coach from Nigeria, Seyni realized that they had played against each other 11 years earlier when both were on their national teams! Seyni’s goal now is to give girls the opportunities to play soccer that she didn’t have growing up. After hearing Seyni present on Ladies’ Turn, the coach from Burkina Faso told Seyni that she wants to start a similar project in her country. This is magic to Seyni and our ears!

Seyni’s attendance was the latest event in Ladies’ Turn’s strong partnership with Discover Football, an organization working to build a global network of leaders in women’s soccer and promote women’s soccer worldwide. In 2010, Seyni Ndir Seck  and Hélène Harder, our documentary filmmaker, participated for the first time in the Discover Football annual Women’s Soccer and Cultural Festival tournament which brings together women’s team from across the globe. In 2011, Seyni met Angela Merkel as part of the Discover Football tournament. She also got to attend a game of the Women’s World Cup. And in 2012, Discover Football invited Lycée Ameth Fall, a women’s team from Saint Louis, Senegal, who helps organize the Ladies’ Turn tournament to participate and screened the Ladies’ Turn documentary.

We hope that by continuing to partner with organizations like Discover Football and giving Seyni, our President, a platform to share her views, we can convince more people in Senegal and abroad to get behind women’s soccer and give more girls a chance to play.

Thank you for all of your support. A special thanks to those who donated at the end of 2015 to support a great year in 2016! We’re excited!

Jennifer and the Ladies' Turn Team

Seyni presents her motto- Don
Seyni presents her motto- Don't Give Up!
Seyni and coaches from Oman, Brazil & Burkina Faso
Seyni and coaches from Oman, Brazil & Burkina Faso
The women coaches get to play some street soccer!
The women coaches get to play some street soccer!
Group Photo- Women coaches from 18 countries!
Group Photo- Women coaches from 18 countries!
Jennifer and Seyni prep for the screening!
Jennifer and Seyni prep for the screening!

This year, when the tournament was not on, we were busy doing diplomacy for women’s soccer by showing our documentary throughout the world and spreading the word. The highlight of our year (besides the tournament of course!) was our big event in Ethiopia. The Embassy of Senegal and the Organization of the Francophonie invited Seyni Ndir Seck and Jennifer Browning to present the Ladies’ Turn documentary at the Semaine de la Francophonie (Week of the Francophones) festival in Addis Ababa this past March 2015.  

The Alliance Ethio-Française theater was full for the screening. English subtitles were used so the Ethiopian and international audience could understand. Probably 20 countries were represented among the public! It’s always fun to show the documentary in different cultures because every screening is unique, each audience member’s reaction is different. This was especially so in Addis Ababa- the seat of the African Union. 

People laughed and mostly, expressed awe of Seyni’s determination and the Ladies’ Turn tenacity. The Senegalese Embassy sent a deletation. The Ambassador of Canada warmly congratulated Seyni after the film. His wife praised the initiative. 

We have Borja Santos Porras a talented photographer and Ladies’ Turn champion to thank for our wonderful photos in this entry.

This is our last entry for 2015! A huge thanks to all of you for continuing to support us! As the holiday season approaches, consider donating again to Ladies’ Turn so we can make 2016 as beautiful a year for Senegalese girls who dream of playing soccer as 2015!

Happy Holidays!

Jennifer and the Ladies’ Turn Team

Seyni speaks to Ethiopian TV about Ladies
Seyni speaks to Ethiopian TV about Ladies' Turn.
Jennifer, Seyni, & the Senegal Embassy Delegation.
Jennifer, Seyni, & the Senegal Embassy Delegation.
Seyni & Jennifer celebrate a successful screening!
Seyni & Jennifer celebrate a successful screening!

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Organization Information

Ladies' Turn

Location: Dakar - Senegal
Website: http:/​/​www.ladiesturn.org
Project Leader:
Jennifer Browning
Princeton, NJ United States

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