The refs whistle has just blown… But AKS activists have work to do!
Partner in the SUE project Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Demokracji W Sporcie, introduces us to the world of womens football and the power of female leadership! ”SHE is the one who rallies the team to fight when the situation is the bleakest. In the dressing rooms SHE makes jokes, SHE diffuses difficult emotions, SHE motivates the team.”
Autumn 2019, a Polish Women’s third tier football match. AKS Zły Warsaw have just conceded a goal, they are one-nil down and there is silence in the stadium. It doesn’t last for long, a red-haired girl is standing in front of the supporters of AKS. A characteristic, slightly hoarse voice says that it is NOW that the girls on the pitch NEED their fans’ support.
So what are we singing? – asks one of the fans. In response, the girl chants a song. A few moments later it is sung by the whole tribune.
Natalia has been active at AKS from the very beginning, since 2015. She is the first woman in Poland to lead the singing and chanting during a game.
A few minutes later the stadium buzzes in delight. Anna, AKS’s forward, passes the opponent by kicking the ball over her, then, with her back to the goal, she performs a perfect scissor-kick. Alas the shot flies just over the bar.
Anna has the Warsaw club’s best shot. She has scored in 19 consecutive league matches, she stands out and not just on the pitch. SHE is the one who rallies the team to fight when the situation is the bleakest. In the dressing rooms SHE makes jokes, SHE diffuses difficult emotions, SHE motivates the team.
“A born leader” – her teammates say about her. And sure enough from this year 2020, Ania is the captain of the AKS Zły team.
The referee’s whistle is the end of the match for the players. But AKS activists still have work to do. Patrycja, the coordinator of the merchandising section, has an ask for those who want to escape quietly from the stadium for help. Someone needs to carry the boxes from the stands to the clubhouse. There are a lot of those boxes, sales are booming and it’s not just shirts and scarves. In three years Patrycja and her team have created a full clothing and gadget collection. The products come from all over Europe. Patrycja’s next task in AKS is to become the manager of the women’s football section.
In AKS women have played key roles since the club’s formation. Eliza is the first captain of a Polish football club to play with a rainbow armband. Karolina was the president for four years. Zuzanna and Julia produce photo reports from matches. Gender equality, female leadership and empowerment are values embedded into the club’s ideological foundations.