Community help make dream trip come true
Gothia Cup Cancún was the first step for the determined girls in Playa G14 team with their eyes on the glory.
Thanks to local sponsors and parents, and a lot of door-knocking, the team managed to raise the funds necessary to travel to Sweden to compete in Gothia Cup.
– I was going to show my girl that it is possible, says Carmen Ayala.
Mexican side Playa played in the tournament in Cancún, and they could not believe it when they won it. Winning it meant that they got participation at Gothia Cup 2023 in Gothenburg. But it was not obvious that they were going to be able to make the journey over to Sweden because of the travel costs, and there were people around the team who were negative about their prospects. Carmen Ayala, one of the parents who managed to come along on the trip, was not going to accept that attitude.
– I was going to show my girl, all the girls, that it is possible, Ayala says.
It was important for the parents to show that the players that if they want something, they can work for it. The parents joined forces and helped out to start raising money for the travels. She describes how they had to knock on doors, selling food, and ask friends and family for support in raising the funds necessary to make the trip. They also got sponsors that they wear on their shirts.
– We managed in the end. My friend helped out with the organising. We got here with the girls and could say "it is not a dream", Ayala says.
Coach Kato Ramos enjoyed the experience in Cancún. They received an invitation to return, which they will do. His favourite part was the experience with his players.
– I liked to get to know the team better, to be proud of the team. I love them and I’m happy that we are making history, says Ramos.
They have also enjoyed everything about the tournament in Sweden, from the food and culture to the people and the football.
– I’m very proud of them, they have put hard work in and first of all we have to have fun, says Ramos.