Regular exercise by adolescents is known to promote physical fitness, reduce stress and improve classroom performance. Team sports in particular enhance adolescents’ social and psychological development, including confidence, goal-setting and leadership: all critical to developing strong, healthy, empowered young women, a primary goal of Women’s Health to Wealth and its partner organization WomenStrong International.
With its 15 Girls’ Clubs in 14 communities in three districts in and around Kumasi, Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW) seeks to further these adolescent development goals among girls in the Ashanti region.
To this end, on Friday, November 20, 2015, girls in the Afigya Kwabre district of Ashanti competed in a football match, or, in American parlance, a soccer game. The smaller girls from Swedru Junior High School were intimidated by the tall athletic stature of the girls at Wawase Junior High School but played valiantly for 70 minutes. At the end of the match, Wawase came out victorious, 2-0.
After the game WHW Girls’ Clubs Coordinator Sheila Effah-Kyei led a discussion about confidence, one of the seven key strengths emphasized in the Girls’ Clubs curriculum. The girls learned how confidence can help them overcome obstacles in their lives by focusing on achieving their goals, rather than on their perceived limitations.
The football game was a welcome new activity for the Girls’ Club, getting everyone out of the classroom and interacting with girls from different schools. After this success, WHW will continue to explore innovative ways to collaborate with the girls on their roads to self-discovery.