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A green football field surrounded by grandstand holding thousands of cheering spectators, celebrating the eleven winners of the match. The other team is devastated. Women in white tricots looking exhausted and very disappointed, one player lays on the field and covers her face to hide her tears. The feeling: It is over, everything. We gave more than 100% percent, but it wasn’t good enough. A few minutes ago, there was still the chance to win, but now we failed in the penalty shootout. It’s June 2019 and the FIFA Woman’s World Cup 2019 took place in France and numerous similar situations happened throughout the knockout stage. But the scenery above took place throughout the World Cup in Germany in 2011. Despite the eight years in between it is still an extremely relevant match concerning the art of losing. But losing is necessary and crucial for human growth. The USA’s football team (USWNT) in white was devastated in 2011, after losing the finals after a stunning penalty shootout. Seeing the winning Japanese team in their triumph moment was a tragic defeat, even more given that the USWNT are famous for their woman’s soccer and Japan was somewhat of a newcomer. Whenever […]
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Mindfulness at work … What does mindfulness have to do with digital change? On the surface, not much at a first glance. But not without a good reason this topic is experiencing a real hype recently, especially in fast-moving industries. The environment is changing rapidly. New challenges are emerging faster and faster, especially the ones we face in the business world. Sign of the times: Available knowledge worldwide doubles every five to seven years. And 80 percent of the technologies used today will be replaced by new ones in ten years’ time. In addition, there is a very high workload: too many, too complex tasks, strong deadline and performance pressure, multi-tasking, interruptions, constant availability and an often-unhealthy management and work culture. Short-term stress reactions can indeed have an activating effect. However, if the level remains high and there are no recovery phases, the body switches to continuous alarm. Mindfulness is an effective method of achieving a stress-free state of consciousness during work. Sport can have a similar balancing effect.   Mental fitness in sports Being in shape as an athlete means to sharpen your concentration, to think self-motivating and to face new challenges in a relaxed and self-confident way. Mental […]
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Within our project „Kick it like Lira“, we’re primarily interested in supporting girls to become the best and fiercest version of themselves. As we learned in our last ‘sneak peak’ blog entry, many skills from football playing can be adapted to one’s educational career. Similarly, to football, many branches still fight with negative and reducing prejudices on women’s required skills for the job. In order to prove that these prejudices are anything else but true, Girls’ Future Day, or abbreviated Girls’ Day is a nationwide action day, specifically aimed at broadening girls’ range of career choices. Moreover, it intends to motivate girls and women to take up technical and scientific careers and untypical jobs. Local heroes – helping pave the way Some of the girls presented in our project correspond exactly to this atypical job description. In order to maintain the perfect balance between career and athletics as a young person, you need all-embracing and professional support. The “Kick it like Lira” project therefore cooperates with Anpfiff ins Leben, a non-profit association that supports young athletes and people with amputations in creating the best possible prospects for their private and professional future. A large network of schools, universities, associations, business […]
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              The press describes itself as a democratic medium. But the way in which sports journalists approach women’s sport is only very rarely neutral and factual, of course there are pioneers in reporting about sports. The “prejudices” about women and men are present in sports reviews and the media can therefore be considered to have a special role in their continuation. They participate, often unconsciously, in putting women in their „right place “. Media under-representation, insignificance and sexualization, here is a division in three hand spans of how women’s sport is portrayed in the media. About Body Images In advertising, a female stereotype is preferred that corresponds to the common ideal of beauty, which is characterized, among other things, by a clearly heterosexual charisma. Deviations from this masculine norm will not be tolerated. Some women still feel archaic gender images, often even through the official regulations of associations and events. Quite often sport promotes degradation as an accessory and additionally sends the signal that it is okay to reduce women to their appearance. This attitude dominates sport to such an extent that top female athletes are no longer perceived in terms of their sporting […]
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Women and men all around the world have been marching today, more than 100 years since International Women’s Day was first celebrated. The ultimate goal of those marching is to recognize past struggles and achievements, and to draw attention to the many challenges still facing those speaking out for gender equality. Thousands of events have been held around the globe and the issues they are highlighting include, better representation of women in media and politics, and better global access to education and medical care. 100 years ago, the suffragette movement in Germany called on women to take to the streets; and thousands of them did. German women demanded shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. Their courage was the foundation for the many fantastic women in Germany today whose skills, especially in the field of football, still go unrecognized. It is well known that women’s soccer, formerly known as “ladies” football, has been a wallflower for decades. Typically, sports clubs rejected women. Soccer matches for women were considered indecent and even forbidden! After years of fighting against the odds, female soccer players experienced a victory in 1970, when the German Soccer Association finally gave in and began allowing women’s […]
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On what’s ahead in 2019, particularly one event shines on the horizon: the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 taking place in France. Women’s football has recently gained in popularity and participation. But we have not reached our goal yet and will continue to challenge stereotypes and demand respect for women in soccer. Together with Equal Playing Field, DISCOVER FOOTBALL, Women Win, Global Goals World Cup and all the other great organization fighting for the United Nations goal number 5. Going this direction, I intend the exhibition “Kick it like Lira” focusing on girls and women playing football in Baden-Württemberg. It shares a familiar story to many of the World Class players who fought against the odds to make it where they are today. It is a tale about a journey of girls who overcome many obstacles to fight for change in the way female football is perceived – and about their individual motivation strengths and successes. It therefore aims at the visibility of girls and women playing football beyond the sexualized images portrayed in media. With an emotionally charged photo and video documentation, multi-faceted storytelling including a social media campaign, the project sets out principles to support the empowerment of women […]
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An initiative with a new approach: Football stars pay one percent of their income into a social fund – thus football helps underprivileged people around the world. Kicking for a better world. This motto represents Jürgen Griesbeck’s idea and the essence of the ‘Common Goal’ initiative in a nutshell. Prominent footballers, but also other parties from this extremely capital-intensive industry, donate one percent of their income to social causes. Griesbeck is supported by many people who share his vision: Deploy football with its fascination and social binding force as a medium for a more just and peaceful society. Jürgen Griesbeck is able to wait. As a matter of fact, he has remained skeptical about using prominent names for any purpose whatsoever for 15 years. This was for a good reason: Anyone familiar with the concept of the ambassador (and/or brand ambassador), which is widely applied in marketing and in many NGOs, knows that it can quite easily backfire – namely, when the ambassador’s reputation has passed its peak or he/she has caused a scandal. Then the blessing can turn into a curse and diminish public interest or in a worst-case scenario, negative headlines can adversely impact the subject in question or the brand. However, it […]
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The attraction of a good deed: Female footballer is honored by Bono in a U2 song after playing a spectacular match on the Kilimanjaro Kicking at an elevation of almost 6000 meters: A very special kind of exhilaration. A legal high that – in the truest sense of the word – can only be topped by very few other experiences. I.e. a concert by a band that is worshiped by its fans with a cult of reverence: U2. Time and time again, Bono, The Edge & Co., manage to convey a sense of pleasure with groove and goosebumps in a holistic experience. What do pinnacle Football and U2 have in common? More than anyone thinks. It involves women: On June 24th, 2017, approximately 30 female players from 24 countries made history and set a record by playing a football match on the Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. On this mountain, neither stadiums nor streets have a name. The game and the underlying ‘Equal Playing Field’ initiative potentially caught the attention of the Irish rock stars. Either way: The match – more precisely, the player Josefina Martorell – was actually mentioned by U2 in a song, which the band performed […]
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You can’t. Two words women and girls have heard for centuries. The co-founder of the Equal Playing Field initiative said: “The playing field is not equal. We wanted to use the climb of Kilimanjaro to highlight the gender inequalities faced today by women in sport. Women have fewer opportunities to play sport, get paid less when they do, and don’t get the same coverage or respect in the media. I don’t want to be having this same discussion with my future children.” Laura has worked on a number of major sports events and development projects, combining the two when working on the Street Child World Cup. She developed both grassroots projects and Government policy and is always a passionate advocate of equality in the workplace. She made the transition from ballet to football rather late but enjoys playing with different teams and meeting fascinating people around the world. She hopes that in thirty years time, this whole topic won’t even be a conversation at all.  
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La nuestra futbol femenino
Juli was nine when she escaped the violence perpetrated by drug cartels. Her physicist father pursued his PhD at Sweden’s Uppsala University while her anthropologist mother worked on her master’s thesis.
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