Founder of the SHE GOAL initiative, Sandra Yeboah, is passionate about developing women’s football in Ghana and aspires to own a football team one day.
Growing up, Yeboah had dreams of becoming a professional footballer and when her plans did not go accordingly due to lack of family support, she vowed to assist young girls experiencing the same setbacks.
In the local communities, Yeboah admits that young girls are not encouraged to take up sport as it is still viewed as a male’s only space.
As an entrepreneur and social media manager, Yeboah, has used her platform to change the narrative and plays a vital role in raising the interest of women’s football.
This has resulted in the Ghana Football Federation and sponsors investing in the Women’s Premier League.
Yeboah is now calling on television stations to help broadcast women’s football matches and take the game to greater heights.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Yeboah chats about her support for gsport4girls and reveals the women in sport who inspire her.
Sandra, thank you for chatting to us! Please tell us about your contribution to sport in Ghana.
I’m Sandra Yeboah, an entrepreneur, a social media manager and the founder of the SHE GOAL Initiative.
SHE GOAL is actually an upcoming initiative, we are not operating officially yet. The launch date was set for 22 September 2020, but it has been shifted to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully next year, it will be official. All that I’m doing on social media now is to create awareness before we begin this journey.
How and why did you come up with this initiative?
“All I needed was someone to push me into making this dream a reality; a family’s support to make a dream come true. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get this kind of support.” – Founder of SHE GOAL initiative, Sandra Yeboah
SHE GOAL because of personal experience. I started playing football at a very young age and growing up all I knew was to play football. All I needed was someone to push me into making this dream a reality; a family’s support to make a dream come true. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get this kind of support. So many discriminations here and there. Now I’m older and I have so many regrets and I feel there are some young girls out there who may be going through similar situations. That’s where all the ideas for SHE GOAL came about.
What are some of the early challenges you are facing trying to get SHE GOAL off the ground?
Some of these challenges are getting genuine people to support the SHE GOAL dream, getting these girls to join the community even after making announcements and inviting them to join.
Another major challenge is convincing parents to allow their daughters to do sports. Some Ghanaian parents don’t support this at all due to a household perception they have about women in sports.
Are there any strides being made to amplify the coverage to women’s football in the country?
Women’s football in Ghana is getting better, it’s improving. People are now learning to appreciate girls who are in sports, the Ghana Football Association is doing everything they can to improve the lives of these girls by supporting the women’s Premier League with huge sums of money and some household companies are sponsoring the women’s league. We have quite a number of women’s football clubs in Ghana who are doing so well. Recently, the GFA organized international friendlies to usher the girls into the upcoming league. Now we need more television stations to help broadcast women’s football matches.
Please tell us more about your personal journey in football and your desires to play the game.
Growing up I wanted to play football professionally and I fell in love with the game at a very young age. I believe that’s where the passion sterns from. But now that I am not playing, I would love to coach or referee someday. I just want to make an impact in the sports industry for the younger ones to follow. I want them to know that if they have a passion for something, never seize to see opportunities around it.
As a follower of gsport4girls, when did you come across the initiative and what were your initial thoughts on the platform?
“I came across gsports4girls on Twitter after I followed the South African goalkeeper Kaylin Swart. She retweeted a Tweet of gsport’s.” – Yeboah reflects on how she found out about gsport.
I came across gsports4girls on Twitter after I followed the South African goalkeeper Kaylin Swart. She retweeted a Tweet of gsport’s and you know whenever I see anything “sports” my eyes open wild for it (haha). So, I decided to check gsport out and it was very impressive. Keep promoting women’s sports in every way you can!
I am grateful that you contacted me. I see this as a breakthrough for SHE GOAL already. But I also believe gsports4girls aside from being the voice and giving women in sports the platform, the initiative can also help in supporting women’s football clubs and talented girls with some materials and financials they may need to improve their profession through promoting campaigns.
Which women in sport inspire you and why?
Here are but a few women who inspire me:
– Marta Vieira da Silva because of her unique play on the field and for being one of the people who led the Brazilian team to attain equal pay. She is an inspiration.
– Stephanie Frappart for being one of the few women referees to officiate men’s matches.
– Martina Voss-Tecklenburg for her awesome coaching skills. You know the performance of a player shows the quality of coach behind that performance. We all know how the Germans play!
– Fatma Samoura is another amazing woman doing it big at the FIFA desk.
– Serena Williams, another big inspiration as well…
There are a whole lot of them but let me end here.
What is your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition in life is to see women’s sport attain the same heights as the men. I’ve spoken to a whole lot of people and they think its impossible. One thing I know is that anything is possible unto those who believe, so yes it’s very possible.
Also, I want to own a women’s football club here in Ghana some day, all I want to do is to support women in sports in any way I can.
You can watch this video of me on my YouTube Channel to learn more about me: https://youtu.be/6RRgwQedd4U