The Spirit of the Game - A spoken word poem about young female footballers.
Football Beyond Borders collaborates with ThisGirlCan
In October Football Beyond Borders released The Spirit of the Game to the world, a short spoken word film about young female footballers. The film follows on from a summer that saw the Women’s World Cup reach a record 17 million viewers in the UK, and the film captures this pivotal moment in women's football. This spoken-word film gives voice to young, female players in 2019; exploring what football means to them, whilst encouraging others throughout the country to take up the sport.
Over the last year, our girls' programme has gone from strength to strength. You may have already read about the Women Who Changed the Game event, or our participants' visit to St George’s Park. But it is vital that we at Football Beyond Borders continue to support young women in engaging with sport.
Challenging the state of play on girls playing football.
In 2016, Women in Sport surveyed 21,000 girls for their Girls Active Survey. They found that just 60% of 11-14-year-olds were happy with the amount of physical activity they do. That figure dropped further for 14-16-year-olds, as only 41% were happy. Women in Sport said that these girls will be “doing the vast majority of their physical activity in Physical Education lessons at school.” Furthermore, when asked what stopped girls from taking part in Physical Education outside of school, 25% of 14-16-year-olds said they were not confident enough, as well as 21% of 11-14-year-olds. These figures drop even further once young women leave school and compulsory Physical Education lessons.
Football Beyond Borders works to encourage young women to take up sport, enabling them to develop into the best versions of themselves with the aid of football. As such, championing women in sport, like The Spirit of the Game does is vital.
Spoken word poetry inspired by a passion to play.
The poem featured in the film was written by the featured young women themselves during a series of workshops, alongside the help of Young People's Poet Laureate, Theresa Lola, and takes us on a journey from the classroom to changing room, race to religion, tangfastics to team kit, and sexism and sprints, as the girls take their rightful place on the pitch.
The Spirit of The Game was directed by Harry Bowley, with words by Theresa Lola and Antonia Cundy and features the female team of Football Beyond Borders. The film was supported by This Girl Can and Sport England.
You can head over to the Football Beyond Borders YoutTube channel to watch the film for yourself.