Hundreds of mums interested in playing football in Guam
Guam mums flock to play football.
A social football league on Guam is turning heads with its popularity and target group.
The Guam Football Association's autumn league for "soccer mums" has drawn nearly 300 women to a registration day.
The GFA's Women's Football Technical Director Cherri Stewart told Koro Vaka'uta support for the three-year old league has seen a rapid rise.
CHERRI STEWART: It actually started with a concept of creating a league that is in between the youth programme and as well as our competitive women's programme. When we started looking at the clubs that are coming out of the youth programmes, obviously there's a lot of mums that are supporting their kids and they also have their husbands or their sons playing so we started asking if they would be interested in giving football a go. It just took a life of its own. A lot of these mums started creating their own teams coming out of the youth clubs. It grew from only having six to eight teams to ten to now this season we've grown to 14 teams playing seven-a-side. It's a real positive environment. It's probably the best we've seen so far as far as the fair play and the spirit and the motivation. I mean they are cheering for each other even though one team got scored on. It's such a positive environment and it's a healthy environment for them. I think as word got out how addicting it's become it kind of gave other mums an opportunity to say, you know what, I want to give this a shot.
KORO VAKA'UTA: Is there a particular criteria? Is it a set skill level? What is the criteria for people to play in it?
CS: Very, very simple. You just have to be 18 and over and you have to be a mum. There's no skill levels or anything like that. It's really tailored towards those females who want to give football a chance or they have played football when they were really young and they haven't played since then. It covers all spectrums.
KV: 14 teams and then about 300 expressions of interest in taking part as well, that's hugely impressive for an island that has approximately 160,000 people.
CS: I still think it can grow. It's still an untapped territory. We're only scratching the surface. I think that's why we're kind of turning heads with the way the mum's league is being created here on Guam. I think it' serving a great purpose because it's giving these women an outlet, a place to play and be social. They're also getting a dose of understanding of what their kids, or their husbands, or their sons are going through when they're on the field so they gain a valuable respect for the sport. It's starting to beat out Zumba, it's starting to beat out going to yoga. They're starting to come out here and enjoy the outdoors. It's giving them another outlet. Even though there's crossfit, I just think we're just giving them another choice of staying fit.
KV: Football itself, what do you think is attractive for women?
CS: I think that the mum's league is definitely here to stay. I think it's going to start to get a little bigger. Our federation is starting to reach 100% capacity as far as field usage which I think is a good problem for us because it shows that our sport is starting to become the number one sport on island which is what our number one target is but at the same token we want to make sure that we tailor to everyone's needs and that it's available to everyone.
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