Women’s football has flourished in recent years, and interest in football played by women is currently at an all-time high. The guardians of the game, FIFA, believes that women’s football still has even more potential for growth, as they actively promote women’s football worldwide through major competitions and events, campaigns and development programmes.
IICS is no exception to this growing trend, with a long history of high levels of participation in female football across grade levels. Recently, a squad of 15 girls represented IICS at the Kizlar Sahada Youth Cup in Beylerbeyi.
Kizlar Sahada (translation: Girls on the Field) is Turkey’s first, and only, female football festival. The organisation promotes a number of events throughout the year for a range of age groups and ability levels. Having reached the 2015 Final, IICS played three matches against female teams from across Istanbul, remaining unbeaten in their pool and once again reaching the final stages.
While participation by girls in sports has increased at all levels and society is more accepting than ever of female athleticism, serious underlying concerns remain.
In the United States, only one-quarter of girls in their senior year of high school engage in regular exercise compared to one half of boys. The fact that girls continue to drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys is an indication that we still have a long way to go as a society in reaching the goal of gender equality in sports. Not only are they less likely to participate in sports once they reach adolescence but, worse, they are more likely to become sedentary and inactive. With such inactivity comes an increased risk of obesity and other health problems.
That being said, the female football programme at IICS is in a very healthy state. In October, the IICS Middle school team entered a record three teams in the ISL 7-a-side tournament. During November, High School girls achieved 3rd place at the annual ISL tournament, and two full squads of 15 players from both Middle school and High school travelled to represent IICS at the CEESA competitions. The level of skill on display at the High School tournament was of the highest caliber, with IICS being recognised for their outstanding Sportswomanship.
Tom Sheard, High School Girls’ Football Coach
“Turkey’s First and Only Women’s Soccer Festival.” Kizlarsahada.com | Anasayfa. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.
Lench, By Brooke De. “Sports Dropout Rate for Girls Six Times Rate For Boys.” MomsTeam. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.
“Women’s Football – Mission – FIFA.com.” FIFA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.