Monday, 13 July 2015

Soccer Memories

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While packing boxes for my move I came across two pictures. One is of my first soccer team (we look like a bunch of bumble bees) and one of my last soccer team (age span is about five years because we couldn't get enough girls to play). With those pictures firmly in mind, and the many recent news stories about the FIFA Women's World Cup I have been thinking about female soccer players a great deal lately.

Despite being a soccer player for many years I have seen very few soccer games in a stadium live, and even if I see thousands of them during the rest of my life I will never forget my first one. My first (and so far only) live, in the stadium World Cup game was in 1995. June 8th 1995. When I was one of 1 500 who saw China beat Australia. Yeah you read that right, unlike the World Cup 20 years later the audience for this game was 1 500 not 50 000. It was a grey, cold June day and my team mates, coaches and I sat on a wind swept arena that will never see a World Cup game again, but 20 years ago it was considered a perfectly acceptable arena for a world cup game. Although things have gotten better for women's soccer players in the intervening years the pay gap is still ASTRONOMICAL. And, although I heard a fairly good explanation for this tweet

I think we can all agree that it was just a tad offensive.

But, that isn't actually what this story is about. The story I wanted to tell is about The Matildas/Female Soccerroos and that cold June day. Because after the game my team mates and I got to experience something that for me will always be the height of good manners and grace.
2009 Matildas since I couldn't find a picture of the 1995 team

The Australian ladies invited us into their locker room and signed our programs. They took time to encourage us in our playing. In working hard and training.

It is because of those ladies I occasionally think I should take up soccer again (usually I try playing with kids around the same time, go in for it all to much and re-injure my groin which was the main reason for quitting and remember that I am no longer 14). They did this after LOSING a game. Most of us know how we feel after having LOST a game. Can you imagine being gracious and encouraging after a loss? I can tell you I am usually pretty grumpy after losing. And I don't lose World Cup games.

Copyright ©2015 Zee from A Tea Stained Page. This post was originally posted by Zee from A Tea Stained Page. It should not be reproduced without express written permission

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