June 17, 2024

In pink: new warm-ups.  Proudly worn by coach Stefan Westermann, Tus Groenenbaum, Halver

The hype in women’s soccer at MK by EM?

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to: Sarah Lorencic

In pink: new warm-ups. Coach Stefan Westermann wears them with pride. © Lorencic, Sarah

With the European Women’s Football Championship, women’s football has been receiving more attention once again, even the term hype is mentioned. Is this also the case in Halver?

Halver – wears pink. He wears it with pride. Because Stefan Westermann is the coach of the football players at TuS Grünenbaum. The fact that there are girls’ and women’s teams in the club thanks to Halveraner.

In the fight for the ball, female grace disappears, body and soul inevitably suffer harm, and showing the body violates decency and decency.

TuS board member Grünenbaum says the club in Kreisch has had spades for about nine years, “in TuS Ennepe over two”. With 100 players from young to old, most female soccer player plays in Halver and the surrounding area. The daughters of Stefan Westermann, who are in their early twenties today and suddenly wanted to play football, played a major role in the development.

Girls wanted to play soccer

The 51-year-old, a native of Breckerfield, has been playing football since he was seven years old. When his daughters were young, it was “absolutely ridiculous” for him to want – like their father – to play football. However, because he was often on the field, so were his daughters. And when they saw a summer camp for boys, they wanted it too – for girls only. This is what happened. “We immediately had 15 girls together.” Two years later, the first team was playing. In June of this year, the B Juniors were promoted to the District League. Stefan Westermann is very proud and the players are also happy about the promotion. How is the reaction in the club? “Let’s put it this way: We’ve considered,” Westerman says.

TuS Grünenbaum girls' soccer has been around since 2013.
TuS Grünenbaum has been playing girls’ football since 2013. Avatar © Wesley Baankreis

Women’s football is still struggling. In the context of the European Championship, from which the German national players were knocked out and runner-up on Sunday, one hopes that it will receive more attention. Because the offspring is missing. Shortly before the European Championship, the German Football Association (DFB) presented a “Strategy Paper for Women in Football”. Among other things, the German Football Association has set itself a goal of increasing the number of active players, coaches and referees by 25 percent by 2027. How exactly is not (yet) in it. But Stefan Westermann does not think the European Championships can make a contribution. In his opinion, the dowry has received little media attention.

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One of the differences between boys and girls

As a poll on his team showed, not all players watched the European Championship – although you might think so if you are active in the sport yourself. But this is one of the big differences between boys and men: they do not pay much attention to football, do not follow the matches of the German Federation, and there are hardly any players who are fans of the team. Girls and women just want to play – with their team. What happens in the Bundesliga or at the international level is not that important for them. “By the way, the boys have already seen 1,000 hours of heaven when they come in,” says Westerman and laughs. And they, in turn, often think they can and know everything. On the other hand, girls are more attentive and quickly implement what is explained to them.

As one of seven coaches, Stefan Westermann coaches the women at Halver at TuS Grünenbaum am Kreisch
Stefan Westermann coaches the women as one of seven coaches. © Lorencic, Sarah

There are good games out there, girls have mastered the technique and can be really ambitious. Contrary to reputation, which Westerman cannot confirm. But during puberty, boys at some point are physically superior to girls. The coach finds the best mood in games with girls. It’s not about performance, it’s about game and having fun.

Injustice in women’s and men’s football

22 million viewers watched the German national team matches at their peak in Germany. There was a public show in Meinershagen, in Halver and the surrounding area, only a few pubs offered the women’s match. Also because the DFB Cup matches were on Sunday. Ridiculous for Westerman. The matches should have been played on another day or at least earlier so that nothing would stand in the way of the European Championship final. Westerman thought it might not have been important enough. Germany lost Sunday’s match against England. The football coach did not believe in any victory anyway. “I thought they were going to roll on us.” Never again, “it was a good match” against the strong team.

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For the sake of history, it was awarded to English women. Because in the UK there was women’s football as early as 1863 – the first women’s national team in 1894, the British Ladies. Back then, players still wore hats and short skirts to keep fit. However, there was a break in 1921 when the Football Association of England banned women from using stadiums. Football “is not suitable for women and therefore it should not be promoted.”

German Football Association bans women’s football

While English women played soccer from an early age, women in Germany at the turn of the century had a kind of “women’s soccer,” passing the ball to each other while standing in a circle. The first games for female students took place only as part of the German Universities Championship in 1922. At the time of National Socialism, women’s football was undesirable and was banned. Women’s teams were not formed again until the 1950s. But while men became world champions in 1954, a year later the German Football Association banned women’s football.

Promotion successful: B-Juniors have been promoted from TuS Grünenbaum to the District League
Promotion successful: B-Juniors from TuS Grünenbaum were promoted to the District League in June © Lorencic, Sarah

The reasoning at the time: “Female grace disappears in the fight for the ball, body and soul are inevitably damaged and the body appears to violate decency and decency.” Because of their “weaker nature”, they had to take a six-month winter vacation, boots with holes were forbidden and balls were smaller and lighter. The match lasted only 70 minutes. Playing time was subsequently increased to 80 minutes. Since 1993, the women’s playing time has been 2 times 45 minutes. In the 1990s, the first domestic leagues were formed.

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However, there is not a women’s or girls’ team in every club. This is mainly down to the staff, says Westerman. Westerman doesn’t even ask if Halver is ready for the hype. He doesn’t believe in many new players. Because they don’t just come. “You have to find girls.” If you get active, advertise, go to schools or organize camps, you’ll find them. But: “It’s a huge task when you start it.” Westerman believes there must be support from the association. Otherwise, nothing will change. It remains to be seen what the Women in Football Strategy Paper will achieve in five years.

Practice training on August 8

Next Monday, August 8, there will be a tasting session for girls in Kreisch. TuS Grünenbaum invites all girls between the ages of 8 and 15 to attend. From 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm, football is played in different age groups. Registration for “Girls’ Football” can be done on the phone 0 23 53/13 75 12 or phone 01 51/22 46 92. In general, the club has a women’s team, two B teams and two D teams. They are trained by five coaches and two coaches. .