Each Girl Was a Winner at the 2020 Goldman Sachs Gives – ISF Girls’ Tournament
The day before International Women’s Day, 408 young girls assembled at ISF Sports Ground to celebrate inclusion in sport at the 2020 Goldman Sachs Gives — ISF Girls’ Football Tournament. They traveled from nine provinces to take part in Cambodia’s largest annual tournament for young female players. This was the eleventh consecutive year of the tournament. We’re pleased to say that due to its success and growth, we included U10 girls’ teams for the first time. This gave the event three divisions this year: under 18; under 14; and under 10.
Goldman Sachs Gives has sponsored the tournament for the past three years. This donor-advised fund for current and retired senior employees of Goldman Sachs supports ISF in promoting education and sport in communities marked by extreme poverty. Together we aim to empower female players to challenge gender stereotypes and discrimination, and provide opportunities for personal development. We promote peer-to-peer education and mentoring through coaching.
35 Teams Competed for the Gold, Each One Won
The festivities began with rousing speeches from ISF staff and Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) representative, Thyda Puth. It is an honour to have Mrs. Puth’s support. She is not only a fantastic role model for these girls but also deeply involved in the Kingdom’s football culture, being the owner of Boeung Ket Football Club.
Puth Thyda, Executive Committee Member of the FFC and owner of Boeung Ket Angkor FC shares words of encouragement
Round robin play decided who qualified for the Semi-Finals. After the last matches finished, three winners were declared. Kompong Spue Football Community took home the gold medal in the U18 division. U14’s prize went to Choeung Koeb Primary School and U10’s champs were Somrong Primary School. Second place prizes went to Otasok Primary School in Battambong, PSE, and Kompong Spue Football Community respectively.
ISF’s Commitment to Girls’ Inclusion in Sport
ISF has been a pioneer of women’s football in the country. Before we started running this annual tournament, there were few official organised football events for girls in Cambodia. Opportunities for girls to play are scarce in the Kingdom. This is especially true if they come from underprivileged backgrounds. Many are discouraged from setting foot on the pitch, as sport is generally thought to solely be a boy’s activity. ISF is working to change that perception. Our provision of female players has grown from 48 players in 2008 to 1,300 in 2020. We also employ four female coaches. We will continue to foster gender equality and social inclusion through sport.
The Benefits of Sports for Girls
Sport and exercise scientists all agree that regular physical activity has beneficial effects on women and girls. For example, vigorous exercise elevates mood. Chemicals produced from exercise help manage stress and fatigue, regulate sleep, and give a sense of wellbeing. Exercise also heals the brain by stimulating the repair and generation of neurons. (Julie Warren, PT, 2017).
Along with the community building and self-esteem improvements of team sports, a growing body of research concludes that an active lifestyle improves girls’ health for her whole life. Research shows that the earlier a woman starts to exercise, the lower her risk for having a heart attack, developing osteoporosis or suffering from dementia later in life.
About Goldman Sachs Gives
Goldman Sachs Gives is a global philanthropic fund reflecting the firm’s culture of teamwork and collaboration. It fuels innovative ideas, the advancement of leaders solving complex social issues, and opportunity for underserved individuals and communities. Through Goldman Sachs Gives, the firm’s partners have recommended more than $1.6 billion in grants to nearly 7,000 nonprofit organizations, impacting communities in over 100 countries around the world.