Region, Nicoya, Culture, Sports

Editorial – Nicoya is Proof that Soccer Isn’t Just for Men

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Luckily, the days when it was frowned upon for women to play soccer have past, and we have to be thankful. But the fact that the canton of Nicoya is becoming a driving force of female soccer is worthy of praise.

In Nicoya, like many of the country’s cantons and other places in the world, the machista culture of male chauvinism dominates many aspects of life. However, in soccer it appears to be absent. To say that the canton has become a promoter of women’s soccer is not just political banter; the facts are clear.

Beginning November 22, Nicoyan girls will have a soccer school for females, supported by the National Union of Women’s Soccer (UNIFUT – Union Nacional de Futbol Femenino). In addition, in September the soccer festival for young girls called Vive tus sueños (Live Your Dreams) was held at the Chorotega Stadium in Nicoya, which brought together some 130 girls from various parts of Guanacaste.

The thirst and hunger for soccer that Nicoyan women have shown has been satiated by Professor Jose Luis Juarez Ramirez, who is the motivator for many young girls and women in the canton who dream of running and giving their all on the field.

In Nosara, there is a group of young women that are playing better each day, giving it all they´ve got. They began to train by themselves and now they will be participating in the 2014 Caimital Women’s Championship and are also preparing to go and gain experience with the Saprissa women’s team.

In addition to the physical benefits of playing soccer, the sport helps children learn to manage their time better, become more aware of sacrifice and stimulate their social relationships and teamwork.

In addition to the advantages of sports, there is the matter of passion and gender equality that is important to note. With the opening of the school, girls from different socioeconomic backgrounds will be able to have the right to fulfill their dreams.

Now Nicoya’s heart swells with pride as two members of the National Women’s Soccer Team are from the canton –goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz from Samara and defender Karol Sanchez from Nicoya. They will represent the country in the 2015 World Championship in Canada, for the first time in the history of women’s soccer.

Now there are two Nicoyans who will go to the world tournament, but the way things are going in the canton, we are sure the number will double.

Perhaps you dream that your daughter will become a ballerina or a gymnast, but if her dream is to don cleats and play soccer, that dream also needs to be respected, to motivate them and to do away stereotypes.