Friday, June 14, 2024

Girls soccer: How Tuckahoe Standout Ella Bordwell Helped Build a Girls Soccer Club in Zambia

What started as a casual visit to Lusaka in Zambia turned out to be one of the greatest stories of hope to a 15-year old Tuckahoe girl Ella Bordwell. She accompanied her twin sister Cara to Lusaka in August 2019 during her tour to teach music, but she ended up creating her own path.

Brian Simunyola, the founder and director of BTennis Foundation was taking some of his students from his tennis classes to his native Zambia, as he does every year. These students work to help villages and small towns in Zambia under the BTennis Foundation. One of the students was Ella’s twin sister Cara, whose passion is mainly on music. Cara’s parents did not want her to go to Africa, unless Ella tagged along, to which Ella was hesitant. She finally agreed, but when she set foot in Lusaka, everything changed.

Beyond Colour and Language Barriers
Ella Bordwell found herself teaching soccer to other young girls aged between seven and 18, despite the language challenges she faced. The majority of these girls were bare-footed, or wore crocs during training sessions, but that did not deter Ella from making something out of these quick learners. She narrated how she would draw up sand drills to demonstrate to the girls as they could barely understand English language. Soccer fans can follow and bet on women soccer with Betway Zambia, featuring upcoming young talent from the grassroots.

“They were in socks or bare feet, wearing dresses, coming from helping their moms at home. I realized I had to go down to the basics, so I did some researching, and I felt like I was trying to find ways to make it fun, because these girls aren’t going to stay around if it’s not fun.” Bordwell narrated. “We did a lot of running, and I tried to get them juggling a little bit and do basic passing. They also enjoyed scrimmaging, so I let them do that too.”

A New Outfit is Born

It was during one lunch break, just a few days before she left Zambia, that Steve Chandra brought up a suggestion. Chandra was running a boys program alongside Ella, but unfortunately there was no organized set up for the girls. Chandra wanted Ella to start up a girls’ football team, which he wanted her to name Ella Bordwell Queens F.C. in honour of her efforts. Remember you can bet on Zambian soccer with Betway, from club to the national team level.
Ella was apprehensive at first, but after one of her greatest experiences she is proud to have taken that step. She remains committed to helping the Ella Bordwell Queens outfit even from her home where she remains in constant communication with them through emails. She takes a lot of time compiling training videos and audio tutorials to help her dream soccer club, as well as asking for donations from friends and well-wishers.

When Ella Bordwell Queens started, there were only 11 girls, but now they boast more than 25 ambitious girls. Through her efforts, the team is fully equipped with standard playing kits, soccer boots, shin guards, first aid kits, and cleats. It is only a matter of time before it establishes as one of the biggest girls’ teams in Zambia, and probably Africa, where fans can bet on them with Betway.

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