Fighting for Gender Equality in Soccer & Society

Fighting for Gender Equality in Soccer & Society

by Goal Five February 20, 2018 6 Comments

It’s Saturday morning and my teammates and I have just lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder, facing our opponents and waiting for the referees to check our player passes and cleats. As I look at the team standing across from me, I see the same thing that I see every week: the boys are sizing us up. They’re looking at us to try to see if we’ll be fierce opponents or not. As their eyes move down our line, they stop abruptly when they come to me…. because I’m a girl. Then I hear them whisper audibly, “Look, they have a girl. They’re gonna be easy to beat!”. What they don’t realize is that they’ve just defeated themselves, because now I’m fired up! I’m ready to do whatever it takes to stop every single boy that comes down the right flank. Failure for me is not an option. It’s not an option because I have something to prove. I have to prove that I am just as good as they are. I have to prove this for myself and for every little, eight-year old girl on the planet.

ann kletz goal five

As I look back on those formative years, as the only girl in my soccer league, I now see the silver lining. Playing soccer, and having something to prove, taught me how to be poised and confident. It taught me to never give up. It taught me how to work really hard for something I believe in. It taught me to love my teammates, who supported me and believed in me, despite my gender. I see my experience not as a hardship, but rather as a gift. The gift of soccer. Soccer literally shaped who I am, down to my very core, and it informed how I walk through life, and how I relate to others and the world around me. Most of all, it instilled in me a fierce sense of justice and a belief that all people are created equal.

ann kletz

How does this all relate to Goal Five? As a mission-driven company, Goal Five exists to tackle gender inequality in the beautiful game. While the women’s game has come a long way since my childhood, inequality is still rampant across the globe.

Goal five has set out a three-pillared approach to addressing inequality in the game:

Product: For most girls, the gear they have to train and play in is not made for their bodies; It’s made for men’s bodies and that shows in the way that the gear fits. We believe that the way clothing fits affects an athlete’s performance. Goal Five is filling this void and this need by making gear that is specifically cut and sewn to fit the female soccer player.
Profit: We donate five percent of profit to organizations helping girls all around the world gain access to the game. In the U.S., the pay-to-play model means that most players come from upper-middle class families. Unequal access to the game is even more acute in developing countries due to financial and cultural barriers. With our partners, we’re helping get more girls into the game, no matter where they come from.
Platform: We’ve developed a platform to address the problem of gender inequality in the game, and by extension, in society. It’s a proven fact now that when girls and women thrive and lead, families thrive, companies excel, and indeed communities and the whole world becomes a better place. At Goal Five, we believe that gender equality starts on the field. We believe that when girls play and compete, they become strong, confident leaders on and off the field.

 

Lastly, we believe that solving this inequality isn’t a problem solely solved by women. It’s a problem so great that it will take all parties to engage in order to make progress. That’s why we’re working to bring together girls and boys, moms, dads, grandparents, clubs, development institutions (The United Nations), governing bodies (US Soccer Federation and FIFA), other companies, and professional athletes to build a broad and strong coalition to continue to grow the movement, and push gender equality in soccer forward.

ann kletz 2

The fire in that little, eight-year-old girl still burns bright and I’ll never stop fighting for gender equality. I’ll never stop fighting so that someday all girls get the gift—and the right-- of soccer and equal status in society. For me, there is no better place from which to fight than Goal Five.

Sincerely,

Ann Kletz

Goal Five Co-Founder

*This article is the second in a series about the company and its origins.




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6 Responses

Ned Kletz
Ned Kletz

February 27, 2018

Awesome and inspiring!!

Tom Frambach
Tom Frambach

February 25, 2018

Interesting stuff. Love to see and hear more.

Tom

Alka Mulakaluri
Alka Mulakaluri

February 25, 2018

Very Inspiring, thank you Ann for sharing.
I think every girl has a story to tell about her journey she is moving in her path. Some get to share some do not, giving them this platform is itself a big achievement.
Joining hands would strengthen the cause and make future fearless and confident, go girl

Julia Steinberg
Julia Steinberg

February 25, 2018

Ann, I love your story and your picture. You are, and clearly always have been, an inspiration to your peers and to young female players everywhere . I’m proud to be a supporter of Goal Five! Keep doing what you’re doing!

Mimi Bommarito
Mimi Bommarito

February 25, 2018

Very inspiring, Ann. I have chills reading your words. And the photo of miniature you on the soccer field with all the boys is priceless. I am proud to support Goal Five and I applaud your insightful mission!

Abbey Kletz
Abbey Kletz

February 25, 2018

The
Personal story and photos (especially)
give a special feeling to the reader.
Yes! Beautiful example for women to believe in their best selves.

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Size Guide

HOW TO MEASURE 
Use a loose measuring tape to most accurately
take your measurements.
 
BUST / CHEST 
With arms relaxed down at the sides, measure
the fullest part of the bust / chest, keeping measuring
tape parallel to the ground. 
 
WAIST
Measure around your natural waistline as pictured. 
 
HIPS 
Standing with feet together, keep tape straight and
parallel to the ground and measure around the fullest
part of hips.
 
GIRLS SIZING
For girls t-shirt sizing, refer to the below.
SMALL MEDIUM LARGE
SIZE 6/8 10/12 14/16
CHEST 13 3/4 15 1/2 17
BODY LENGTH AT BACK 20 1/4 22 24