Inspire the next generation of female footballers to believe in themselves? To do what they love? To fight for equality in sport? To be themselves? To dream further?
We had a real opportunity to tell four elite athletes personal, honest, informal and heartfelt stories, and what it means to be a role model for the next generation of female footballers. To share the knowledge, belief, reassurances and inspiration that they didn’t have growing up wanting to become a professional footballer.
In the run up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup we were given access to Lineth Beerensteyn (Netherlands), Giulia Gwinn (Germany), Amelies Majri (France) and Caroline Graham (Norway) at their respective team training camps.
We asked them what advice they would give to the next generation and had one simple question… What drives them? The answers were often surprising and not the answers you would expect from their male counterparts, but much more honest, team-focussed and altruistic.
As athletes they know the power of dreams, and the path to becoming International footballers wasn’t always easy, so doing something that makes you happy is the best place to start.
The role of mentor and role model for the next generation isn’t taken lightly, on and off the pitch. Caroline is prouder of her campaigning and achieving parity with the Norwegian men’s national team in terms of remuneration than she is of any of her footballing accolades, of which there are many.
Amel tells of her formative years, growing up on the streets of Paris playing street football against the boys, having to tackle harder and fight harder to earn their respect simply because she was a girl. She became known as the “Ankle Breaker” and “Fire Starter” and you can still see the unpredictable street football roots in her game . Each of them openly articulate the hurdles and adversity that has come to define them and give them the drive to succeed at the highest level.
We delved into their training regimes at the gym, on the bike and in the yoga studio, what they do to relax and their wishes for the future of women’s football.
This wasn’t just about selling national team jerseys, training gear or the revolutionary Fe/nom flyknit bra that helps give them the innovation and technical advantage to succeed, but it was about much, much more than this.. This was their opportunity to inspire the next generation to ‘Dream Further