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GIZ holds female football tournament for Amman schoolgirls

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Apr 11,2018 - Last updated at Apr 11,2018

Participants in the football tournament organised by the German Agency for International Cooperation pose for a group photo in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of GIZ)

AMMAN — The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) on Wednesday organised a one-day football tournament at Sports City, under the directives of the German federal ministry of economic cooperation and development. 

Held on the sidelines of the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Cup, the event gathered girls from various schools in Amman into ten teams, each representing one of the competing national squads at the AFC’s championship.

“It’s all about creating access to sports for girls and women, and what is already done here in Jordan by different institutions is a great step in that direction including global sport events like the Women’s Asian Cup, regular physical education [PE] classes, girls grassroots centres and clubs for different sports and extracurricular sport activities after school, among others," said Laura Stoltz, a junior adviser at GIZ.

Through this event, GIZ and local participants aimed to promote PE teaching techniques and social skills development. PE teachers were provided with informational brochures, training manuals and tools for practice by GIZ, she explained.

"The tournament does not focus on competition, but rather on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through sports, and on ways to create access for girls and young women to sports," Stoltz noted, adding that it also helps raise awareness in society to enhance female participation in sports, making it more “normal” and acceptable.

Following the fun and interactive activities, the tournament concluded with a dramatic finale decided by the penalty shootouts. 

For 12-year-old Manal, the event was a good chance to break out of her routine and meet with like-minded peers. "I really enjoyed this competition, and I may start practicing football in a club with professional coaches," she told The Jordan Times at the event.

Girls are not worse than boys, she stressed as she exited the game.

One of the most remarkable players at the tournament was ten-year-old Sadin who, despite a smaller shape than some of her teammates, carried her school all the way to the final.

"We didn't have enough luck in the final, we missed many chances during regular time but, overall, it was a nice experience. It was a lot of fun and I'd really like to be a professional footballer like my idol Lucas Moura," she said.

In the future, GIZ plans to “conduct end of school year tournaments" in cooperation with Generation for Peace, Madrasati and other entities, carrying the same goal as this tournament to "promote sport for development and open access to sports to all children [boys and girls], according to Stolz, who underscored that such events are also crucial in teaching social and sportive skills, in addition to promoting healthy lifestyles.

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