GirlSportWorks is pleased to announce a new partnership in Cusco. We have officially started working with a new school — Virgen del Rosario, located in the neighborhood of Ayuda Mutua in the northern hills of Cusco. After numerous meetings with faculty and administrators, GirlSportWorks decided that Virgen del Rosario had great need and potential.
To introduce the program in the school, we gave presentations in each classroom and distributed information sheets and parent permission slips to the students. Going classroom to classroom revealed that the girls of Virgen del Rosario are heavily outnumbered by the boys. Every single girl raised her hand in interest, and at our first class they all returned with signed permission slips. Their excitement over the opportunity to play sports in an all-female environment was palpable and infectious.
To initiate the girls into the Chicas Dinámicas program, we walked them through every aspect of our class and had a group discussion about our five values — leadership, teamwork, self-confidence, communication and healthy living. Each girl received her very own attendance folder, wherein she will color in a picture every time she comes to class. After four classes, each girl can select a sticker to decorate her folder, and after completing an entire worksheet she can choose a prize from our prize bag. To incentivize healthy living, there are two additional worksheets in every folder, one of fruit and another of water bottles, which the girls color when they bring a healthy snack or drink to class.
Our new class of girls has relatively little sports experience. Hence, for our first unit we selected the most popular sport in Cusco — soccer. We began with drills in order to review the basics of the sport — how to stop, dribble, pass and throw in the ball. We included our favorite soccer drill “Head or Catch” where we call out either ‘head’ or ‘catch’ and the girls must do the opposite action. For example, if we say ‘head’ they must catch the ball. This keeps them attentive, developing quick reflexes, and it is a fun way to practice heading the ball. The girls responded to the drills with enthusiasm, and also with lots of laughter whenever they missed a pass.
At the end of a fantastic practice, we were proud to teach the girls our cheer, which we use every day to close class. The cheer in Spanish goes: “Somos las chicas, las Chicas Dinámicas, fuertes y listas para jugar,” which in English reads “We are the girls, the Chicas Dinámicas, strong and ready to play.”
We feel privileged to get to work with an entire new group of young women, to encourage them to be brave, fearless players, and we are tremendously excited to see this new partnership development over the course of the year.