US Women’s National Soccer Team Launches Initiative to Support Female Fans

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By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

You’ve heard of fans supporting sports teams. The money fans spend on tickets to games, jerseys, hats, jackets, scarves, decals and bumper stickers, those ridiculous giant foam fingers…all of this makes it possible for sports leagues to exist. Not to mention the moral support an athlete gets from seeing thousands and thousands of fans in the stands cheering them on.

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The impact of fans on the success of a sports league is monumental. And fans can have just as big of an impact on the career of an individual athlete, as well.

Fans support leagues, teams, and athletes.

On Tuesday, the US Soccer Federation launched a special initiative through the US Women’s National Team called #SheBelieves. With only a few weeks left until the FIFA Women’s World Cup begins, the USWNT has turned the tables on the young girls and women who’ve supported them for decades. They’ve now come out in full-fledged support of their fans with a letter that each of the 23 women on the US roster has signed.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

“It is almost time for us to head north to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, but before we represent the United States on the world’s stage, we have something to say to you.

You, with your cleats on and a ball at your feet.

You, with your nose in a book and a dream in your head.

You, with your hand in the air, asking question after question after question.

Listen up, ladies: we believe in you.

We believe in your dreams, in your goals, and in your ability to reach them. It might be an uphill battle, and you will get knocked down, but it’s your battle. Own it. Fight it. Never give up on it.
You got this!

As a team, your team, we feel your energy. We read your tweets, see your photos on Instagram, follow as you share your brilliant minds, and hear when you cheer from the stands.

We believe we will be at the top of the podium after that final whistle blows. We never let anyone tell us otherwise. Don’t let the tired clichés and stereotypes make you doubt what you are meant to be: the best.
You support us and show us the way. Now it’s time to turn it around and let you know we have your back. We are going to give everything to reach our goals and we want you to do that, too.

We want you to believe you can be the best: the best athlete, the best student, the best doctor, lawyer, teacher, writer. We want you to be the best you.

Share your dream with us using the hashtag #SheBelieves. Tweet us, post it on Facebook and send us photos on Instagram to show us how you are working towards this dream.

We believe in you.

#SheBelieves

Sincerely,

Your USWNT”

In the past two days, girls and women have been tweeting the USWNT, as well as posting pictures to Instagram and Facebook. There have been stories of struggle and redemption, women who’ve made themselves proud, women with daughters who’ve made them proud. There have been teachers, leaders in their community, women going on missions to other countries, all sharing their stories about how this team has inspired them to be the best they can be. And there are tweets from women still fighting, still aspiring, to get to where they want to be.

During the weeks leading up to the WWC, US Soccer has also set up “#SheBelieves in her Community”, in which the WNT players will head to 17 different communities across the country to host special events geared towards local kids. More information on these events will be released in the coming days, but for a list of the players and where they are going, check out US Soccer’s official announcement.

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The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup opens in Canada on June 6, and it will be the largest women-only sporting event ever in our world’s recorded history. And for the first time since the inaugural WWC tournament in 1991, every single match will be televised live on FOX network channels.

As we are officially on the cusp of what might be the biggest tournament of these athletes’ lives, it seems particularly moving that they’ve chosen now to reach out to young girls and women who will be supporting them this summer. The fact that they’ve stepped out of hardcore World Cup prep long enough to let us fans know they believe in us too makes the gesture that much more meaningful.

I’m a young woman still trying to make a living as a writer, still struggling to find my place in the world, still listing aspirations and goals for the future. And I’m incredibly moved by and grateful to the women who signed their names to this letter. I’m excited! Not just about the World Cup in June, but also about the moves I’m making for myself in the meantime. In light of that, this article is my contribution to the #SheBelieves initiative.
Catch the women of the USWNT on June 8th as they open their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Australia live on FOX Sports 1 at 7:30pm ET!

And read what fans have had to say so far about #SheBelieves on Twitter!

Only 23 days until World Cup kicks off! Best of luck to the ladies of the US Women’s National Team!


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