Ana Mozaidze, 15, Natia Nakvetauri, 17, Upper Alvani
Ana: „ I was a small girl when my parents took me to a music school. This school was right in front of a stadium and I used to stand for hours and watch boys playing soccer after I finished my music lessons. My teacher, who noticed that, told my mother that I seemed to be rather interested in soccer. My mother did not want me to play soccer. Instead, first, she offered me to take up Georgian dances, and then – ballroom dances, but when she realized that I was not interested in any of them, she had to take me to soccer classes. I was 10 years old when I started playing soccer. I have already played it for 5 years.
During the first 2 years, I played in the boys’ team with two other girls. There were no girls’ soccer teams in Kakheti then. Boys were not reluctant to accept us in their team because we lived in the same village and they saw that we played well. However, I remember the guys from the rival team looking at us ironically when we met them in the Kakheti Championship. They did not take us seriously. They looked down on us and did not think we were worthy rivals. When we won the game, they left the pitch without saying anything. Probably they acknowledged us but would they say that aloud?! By the way, we won medals in the championship, which laid the foundation for creation of a girls’ soccer team.
0Initially it was difficult to find female soccer players. A coach, who came from Akhmeta, had to walk from door to door to find girls for a soccer team. Then our team took part in the National Championship for secondary schools and we became the champions of Georgia in 2015. I remember we ran in the village with the Bowl in our hands, the whole municipality, community, school came out to meet us. They welcomed us with cheers. Then they made this pitch for us. It can be said that Alvani has a soccer pitch thanks to the girls.
There is no difference in the techniques of guys and girls. We train exactly like the guys do and we do not experience any discomfort during the process. None of the woman’s biological makeups prevents females from playing soccer. My passion for soccer does not prevent me from studying. I am getting ready for exams to enroll in a medical university. “
Natia: „ Initially my parents could not understand my passion for soccer, but when I was selected as a member of the national under-19 soccer team, they got used to it. My parents feared that it would prevent me from studying. I do not think so. I am going to study wine making at the Agrarian Faculty.
It is a pity that even though we have good female soccer players, the state has not supported them as much as other states support their women players. I know Georgian girls play in the Turkish, Azeri and Norwegian national teams and they receive a good remuneration. Unlike girls, guys playing in the national under-19 soccer team and the national teams in Georgia have salaries. They have just started financing sports tournaments for girls on an annual basis. Before that, we used to start training only 1 week before a tournament.
We participated in the women’s under-19 world championship and lost to the Swedish team by the score of 4:0, which is not a bad result given that Sweden has one of the best teams. We even put up good resistance if we take into account the level of our training. Guys have less difference in scores because they are paid more attention, which also serves as a demotivating factor for girls”.