Did you know the men’s European Football Championship started last Friday in Germany? Probably more likey that you heard about them than about an all-girl football team, the Queen Park Ladies in Bournemouth, U.K.?  Allow me to break down their accomplishments.

They were the only female team in a mixed league of under-12s, and their manager thought they could compete in it despite being recommended to play in an all-girls one by their county Football Association (Banfield-Nwachi, 2024).  Before the season was over, they had won their league. They finished undefeated by winning 18 games and drawing 4, scoring 61 goals and conceding only 11, which had earned them the nickname “Invincibles” (Coombes, 2024).

Because of their brilliant result, they are ascending in their category, which means they will have to play in larger pitches and with 11 a side (before it was 9 to 9) (Moses, 2024). Even if the change in conditions affects their future performance, for better or worse, this achievement cannot be erased. More than that, what comes through while reading about them are two things: the outside belief from their coach and manager in their capacities, but more importantly, their self belief. By training hard and through teamwork (some of them have played together for several years), they already see themselves as examples for other girls to pick up the sport. As Edith, one of the defenders, mentions, they believed in themselves even when they were underestimated or mocked (Coombes, 2024).

So let’s never forget the importance of representation. Because playing in places where another girl might see you from the stands, because she might not read a newspaper, but goes with her family to see her brother or cousin play and by chance encounters these girl—a dream might become a reality. The awareness these girls possess that they are already role models for other girls at such a young age is so inspiring. I hope to continue to read more about them and their sisters in this sport. And who knows they could be the future players in their national teams or win the female Champions League?

-Alicia García Pajares
Junior Girl

Banfield-Nwachi, M. (2024). ‘Invincibles’: unbeaten girls’ football team wins boys’ league https://www.theguardian.com/football/2024/apr/20/invincibles-unbeaten-girls-football-team-win-boys-league

Coombes, L. (2024).  Bournemouth Girls’ Football Team Beat Boys to Win League     https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-68872931

Moses, C. (2024). The Only Girls’ Team in a Boys’ Soccer League Has Gone Undefeated https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/24/world/europe/uk-women-girls-soccer-team-bournemouth.html

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