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Pro soccer women pay it forward


Playing soccer changed the lives of pros Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson, so these dynamic women are hoping spreading the love of their sport to places where girls desperately need hope that could foster ambitions for something more than their often desperate circumstances offer.

Their project, the JoLi Academy, is teaming up with local charitable group, Yuwa, and the All India Football Federation to start their first clinic in the state of Jharkhand.

According to Yuwa… Jharkhand is one of the most dangerous places in the world for human trafficking and violence. An estimated 30,000 people, mostly young women, are trafficked from the state each year. Girls in Jharkand have little to no education and few options other than becoming young mothers or victims of trafficking.

“Our goal is furthering education and improving life through soccer,” Lohman said. “We’ll be teaching these girls to compete, work as a team and strive for a goal, thus unlocking their potential and changing their lives through soccer.”

Skills aren’t the only things they’ll be bringing to the field, though; the organization will also provide basics like nutritional supplements and equipment like sports bras and socks, and even if they only start small, the future could hold much for these girls.

“The Yuwa girls play soccer with virtually no funding on a borrowed patch of field just like the great players of the world did when they were children — Messi, Rooney and Marta,” Lohman said. “We hope to make a short documentary about this these girls, and we have high aspirations to enter it into film festivals around the world.”

We look forward to seeing it.

Full story at ESPN .

Inspiring through sports.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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