Beyond Bend It like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer

Beyond Bend It like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer

Beyond Bend It like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer

Beyond Bend It like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer

Synopsis

Though it burst into public consciousness only with the 1999 World Cup, women's soccer has been around almost as long as its male counterpart, flourishing in England during and after World War I. From the rise of women's soccer following Title IX legislation in the early seventies to the watershed 1999 World Cup performance that turned the American team into instant celebrities, soccer is now the most popular sport for girls and women, with participation growing exponentially worldwide. Beyond Bend It like Beckham presents the first in-depth global analysis of the women's game both where it has come from and where it is headed. With commentary from key players, coaches, and administrators, Timothy F. Grainey follows the sport's reach into the unlikeliest places today, even countries where women were banned from playing soccer just a few short years ago hough women in the United States and Canada still fight for equal treatment and funding, their situation differs markedly from the hostility, abuse, and even outright bans that some women still encounter in trying to pursue an activity they love. Through the prism of soccer this book explores the struggle for women's rights abroad, in countries as diverse as Sweden, Russia, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, and Iran.

Excerpt

When I was five years old I dreamed of playing in a World Cup, at the Olympics, and professionally. I told my parents, who have always been supportive. They told me to work hard at my dreams, and the opportunities would be endless. At the time, what I didn’t know was that some of my dreams weren’t very realistic. In 1990 there was no official women’s World Cup, women’s soccer wasn’t a part of the Olympics, and playing professionally would almost be laughable, as most countries barely recognized women as being able to play soccer. For me, my role models were male. I watched a documentary on Pele, and he immediately became my favorite player. I believed that if I had faith, when it was time for me to play, the opportunities would be there. So every day I went down to the park and juggled, dribbled, and kicked the ball against a wall. I would miss birthday parties for games because the games were just that much more fun for me. At school I waited for the bell to ring so I could play at recess and lunch. That was the highlight of my school day.

Close to twenty years later, soccer has helped me to live my dreams and continue to make new ones. I’ve played in two world youth championships; in 2002 at the finals, we played in front of fifty thousand Canadians and had over a million watching on TV. I’ve been able to represent my country in two World Cups and recently the 2008 Olympics. It paid for my education, allowing me to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.