t’s well known that the summer is, for football and its fanatical supporters, replete with 90 longs days of uninteresting friendlies but, in the summer of 2019, all eyes of fans of the game were fixed on France, the host nation of the eighth Women’s World Cup. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our women’s team debuted at the tournament organised by Inter Campus and Pirella Slatina just a month before.

The Slatina project has always had a clear objective of social inclusion for children from the city’s large Roma population. As time’s gone on and with the increase in the project’s visibility, more girls have started to watch as their brothers and friends train: one ball goes loose, a joke and then the first mixed game began!

The next step was only ever going to be reserving a pitch solely for these girls, where they could grow as a group, be active in their own free time and increase their self esteem. The adventure has been possible largely thanks to the determination of the project’s coaches, especially Jardel and his knowledge of Roma culture.

Since that initial experiment, the team has started to train twice per week and come together as a group. Only the pandemic has been able to temporarily stop their progress. Our girls’ enthusiasm has never diminished and, since September, they’ve been back at it, following all of the anti-covid regulations… and the teachings of our coaches!