Neither the participation barriers nor the unpredictable British weather during training sessions has been able to dampen the enthusiasm of girls from Kent, Kingston University (KUNS) and Sheldon’s Army football teams.
Having already withered the storm of socio cultural, personal and practical barriers, their journey so far similarly resembles a 110m hurdle sprinters quest to win gold at this years Olympics.
In place of hurdles, socio cultural barrier existed primarily due to self perception among girls that football is a male dominated activity. Therefore it was widely perceived by girls as unfeminine to participate in such activities.
As Rina Maski of KUNS said “I had always seen football as guys sport”. Such perception could have discouraged many girls away from sports. Despite that, these groups of girls chose to participate, and whilst doing so discovered the beauty of the game.
Football encourages team work, an opportunity to meet new friends, develop social skills and not to mention its apparent physical benefits.
“I enjoy football for many reasons; one being that it's a great way to socialise. I've made some great friends” said Resma Rajbhandari of Sheldon’s Army.
Another hurdle existed in the form of practical barrier; as these player’s locations were geographically widespread across different towns, they had difficulty travelling to the training venue. However, these girls overcame such barrier by volunteering to travel together and arranged transport with coaches or team mates.
Perhaps it is safe to say the environment within the sport itself has greatly contributed to the development of personal characteristics required to overcome these socio cultural, practical & personal barriers.
Such personal & team development experiences would not have been possible without the platform provided by Parcha Productions, Brighton & Sussex Nepalese Students & Nepali Rimjhim.
Equally important was the support and guidance from coaches of all three teams, Puran Yakso & Sabik Limbu.
Nepali Rimjhim Cup organised by Bimal Sherchan is a local tournament. By participating in such tournaments these girls will get an opportunity to implement into a game what they have learned from training sessions. At the same time they also have a chance to compete against each other to see how far they have progressed individually and as a team.
On 11th August, regardless of which team wins Rimjhim Cup, all of the girls can be proud of their efforts & progression in the sport so far.
As the famous quote of Olympics by Pierre de Coubertin states “ the most important thing is not winning but taking part” and in that sense all of these girls are good as gold.
By: Bahar Laxamba, England
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