The Swedish Football Association have one goal in mind with their new shirts; they hope they will inspire more girls to play sports.
It’s no secret; we need more women in sport. This week has proved to be one in that many are choosing to support and share this message and tackle new initiatives that encourage more young women to play. First, there was Sport England’s new This Girl Can advert campaign. It depicted ordinary women trying to tackle a fitness routine that’s right for them, and it’s just brilliant.
And just yesterday, another was unveiled. We’re all used to seeing positive life mantra’s on Instagram, but what about seeing things like, “to try is to be successful. The result is secondary as long as you dare”, “never look down on someone unless it is to help her up” on a football pitch? The Swedish women’s football team have dropped the names on the back of their football shirts in favour of messages that “inspire and motivate women to show that everything is possible” to empower and encourage more young women to take up the sport. They were unveiled this week as the team hopes to build on their Olympic success in the Algarve Cup.
Each player was asked to pick a tweet that inspired them to have emblazoned across her back, all from prominent, successful Swedish women. Journalist Frida Soderlund, comedian Karin Adelskold, and even pop star Zara Larsson are among those who’s tweets are printed on the national shirts.
The Swedish captain, Lotta Schelin, explained to The Guardian: “The national team shirt is an important symbol, and it constantly reminds us that we can win whatever game it is in whatever competitions.I think it is great that we can join forces with other strong women and that we together can show that everything is possible. There is always a need to show young women that it is possible to succeed and that no one should feel limited in what they can achieve and particularly not because of their sex.”
This was a sentiment echoed by the unstoppable Serena Williams earlier this year; she’s constantly infuriated that women are made to feel lesser in sports because of their gender. ““People call me one of the ‘world’s greatest female athletes’. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? We should never let this goshould always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.”
The Swedish football team also hope that their shirts will inspire people to unite and stand up for each other, “notwithstanding who you are or where you come from.”
We’ll take 10 of them.