- Sophia Goethals, SWB
Fútbol Sin Fronteras Launches New Mixed League
Fútbol Sin Fronteras Nicaragua has been serving girls in Granada for over 13 years, providing leagues, clinics, community events, and academic support. Now, with the launch of the new Liga de Menores Mixtas (Mixed Youth League) those services are being extended to even more youth in the Granada area. In particular, this new endeavor is being used to serve the youngest girls and boys in Nicaragua, for whom there are very few leagues and opportunities for game play.
The new league formally launched on June 12, 2021, and will host games every Saturday morning for both U8 and U12 participants. Through this, FSF is hoping to bring together the entire community in Granada and create a supportive space where youth can play soccer and other family and community members can watch. Perhaps most importantly, though, this is a space where young people can learn the importance of gender equity through sport alongside one another. A mixed league is a powerful way to create a basis of understanding gender equity for both boys and girls at a young age.
“It is important that from a young age kids realize that girls have the same skills, abilities, and capacity when it comes to soccer,” said FSF Head Coach Francisca Alvarez. “That girls possess the talent, strength, and wisdom to do any activity or achieve any goal that they set their minds to.”
The league is spearheaded by Francisca Alvarez, an alumna of FSF who saw that there was a gap in serving youth of this age in Granada. She’d received feedback that many younger kids wanted to participate in games, but there was no structure in place for them to do so. Together with her colleagues, and with support from the Boreiko family, the Liga de Menores Mixtas, or Mixed Youth League, was created.
Every September, FSF hosts the Peace Cup, one of the largest girls sporting events in the country. Historically, the youngest teams at the Peace Cup have had few other opportunities to play in games. This new Mixed League will serve as a complement to the Peace Cup, providing fun, healthy competition throughout the year.
“We want this project to continue throughout the year, and create a way to open and close the league every year,” Alvarez said. “We want children to be encouraged to be a part of this family.”