These girls were several years younger than us and came from a village that was far less fortunate than the homes we all live in (Jarkhand). They had traveled a long 40 hour journey to come play with Goals for Girls. They had every reason to be tired, grumpy, exhausted, and non-talkative because of their travel circumstances. We prepared ourselves to get ready to give them some energy but to our surprise, they were instead lively, talkative, and excited to see us. Their passion for the game of futbol was admirable. This reaction made me realize how fortunate I was to have soccer growing up and made me feel slightly guilty for somewhat taking the game for granted.
Soccer means a lot to these Yuwa girls.
As some of the senior players pointed out to me later that day at the clinic, girls soccer has so much support in America and that support is nonexistent in India. My community and loved ones have always supported my soccer career but this is not the case for most Indian girls. The struggles I have in my life are nothing compared to what these girls experience on a day to day basis. The Yuwa girls practice every day and have an intense love for the game of soccer. I was very impressed by their skill level and their aggressive style of play. I hope that we have taught these girls that they can be good at soccer, can be supported by others, and can have self-confidence about their play. Fortunately, we get a chance to hang out with these awesome girls again before we leave. I am confident that as long as these girls keep playing the game that they love so much, the life lessons will follow.