Ghana’s Girls Make A Play For The Football Big Leagues

Soccer Schools In AfricaOn the banks of the Volta River in Ghana’s Eastern Region, as the sun sets on a Friday evening, the Right to Dream football academy (RtD) is a hive of activity.

With lush green pitches and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, the academy has produced a string of professional and international players over the years.

It was founded in 1999 by former Manchester United scout and social entrepreneur, Tom Vernon, on a dust pitch in Ghana’s capital, training a handful of boys, providing them with food and assistance with school fees. In 2005, they relocated to a residential model on the outskirts of Accra with grass pitches and education facilities and moved to the $2.5m purpose-built facility in 2010.

Now, RtD has opened the first residential football academy for girls in Africa, fighting against the dominance of male football and gender inequality present in Ghana. “The pitches are good quality here and it is a real opportunity for a player to develop,” says 14-year-old Louisa. “I didn’t get to play on these pitches when I was at home.”

She won a scholarship after competing with the more than 1,000 girls across Ghana and neighbouring Ivory Coast who took part in trials for the first nine places on the course.

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