Women’s soccer does not get as much media attention as men’s soccer does, which means our successes often falls through the cracks of life. Our victories are shared among other female athletes who know our struggles. About a week before I set off to meet the National Deaf Soccer Team, I received news that we did not have uniforms for the Deaf World Cup. My head dropped and my heart sank. We needed to fundraise about $2,000 in order to buy uniforms.
Ironically, it was media that helped make this possible. A few teammates and I worked hard spreading word out to people through the traditional word of mouth, text messaging and facebook. While all venues were helpful, I must say that it was Twitter that really put us on the map. The tweets and retweets spread like wildfire and before I knew it, I was communicating with a CNN reporter who showed great interest in our team. She, among many people, graciously donated so we could represent the United States of America with style. I was able to personally thank her when I came to New York City before taking off for Turkey with the team.
She suggested I send her update videos of the World Cup and she would try to get us media publicity on CNN. I could not believe the generosity and willingness to help our team.
The rising attention has been overwhelming and very exciting. We are looking forward to developing our women’s soccer program into a much stronger and well known organization. Support goes a long way with this team, whether it is words of encouragement to monetary to high fives. We appreciate it all and hope to continue receiving it all.
Because of the sudden fury of media support and attention, we are able to move forward as a team. In Taipei, we had to wear ill-fitting men’s uniforms which made us the laughingstock of women’s soccer there. We did not complain, instead we channeled our frustrations and anger into our soccer and were able to win gold! This time around, we have amazing uniforms and such great training gear to help us play soccer with style.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being wonderful people and for reminding us why the United States of America is such a great country. We will do our best to make you proud. GO USA!