In its quest to create opportunities for girls in football wherever possible, Forca Goa Foundation organised a one day 7- a- side tournament ‘Girls Score Goals’ exclusively for girls in the U-16 category on the 8th of March which is internationally celebrated as Womens’ Day.
The tournament was held at Sangolda Football ground and witnessed 8 teams compete in a knockout tournament format. The winning teams played in the semis and the winners of the semis made it to the finals.
The eight teams who registered were 7 stars (GFDC Bicholim), GFDC Donapaula, St. Thomas Princess Pea, Mae de Deus Princess Pea, Saraswat Vidyalaya, Khelegi Toh Khilegi, Dona Leonar Memorial School and Anjuna Celtics.
The group stages saw some close competition with 7 stars, Dona Leonar, GFDC Donapaula and Khelegi to Khilegi making it to the finals.
The finals were played between Khelegi to Khilegi and Dona Leonar School. Khelegi to Khilegi which is supported by Dempo Group emerged winners with a sensational 3 – 0 win.
Chief guests for the tournament were football players Michelle Castanha and Karisma Shirvoikar. Both Michelle and Karishma have done Goa proud in many ways. They have both been called to the National Team and also played for Gokulam FC, the reigning champions of the Indian Women’s League (IWL).
Ishita Godinho (Community Development and Communication Manager at the Forca Goa Foundation) said, “There is a dearth in competition and playing opportunities for girls in our state and it was great to see so many girls register to play in our Women’s’ Day event, ‘Girls Score Goals’. This shows that there are young girls waiting for an opportunity to compete. The Forca Goa Foundation has an exclusive girls league in the U12 category and we look forward to creating more sustained long term opportunities for our girls.”
Michelle Castanha, Indian National Team Footballer said at the event, “I’m really happy to see that the Forca Goa Foundation took the initiative to organise a one-day tournament for girls. And it is very important to have such a tournament specially for the young ones to get motivated, to gain interest and love for the game. It will also help and encourage them and their parents to see that they can choose football as a career someday. It was a one day tournament but girls got an opportunity to play and to showcase their talent. Our Goan girls hardly get to play one tournament in a year, we need to have more tournaments like this and even bigger, longer tournaments in order to increase the standard of women’s football.”
The aim of the Girls Score Goals tournament organised by the Foundation was to give girls in the Under 16 age category a chance to play and interact with footballers in their age group to keep the passion for the game alive.