She is the only Cameroonian to have ever won the prestigious African Women’s Footballer of the Year (2015), one of Cameroon’s brightest female soccer star. Now Gaelle Enganamouit, star of the Cameroon women’s side, has opened the nation’s first football academy to teach the sport to girls. The academy is the first of its kind in Cameroon, where football is still largely considered a boys’ sport.
Gaelle Enganamouit, a 27-year-old football star, never had any formal training. But she said having a football academy for girls will develop Cameroon’s women players into world stars.
“The foundation has as its objective to promote women’s football so we can see the impact,” she said. “In 2016 here with the African Cup, I was so impressed. I said I have the opportunity to open this foundation, I can do it.”
As a young girl, Enganamouit had an early passion for football. Her family rejected her love of the game because football was considered a boys’ sport.
But, Enganamouit’s determination took her to play not only at the national level but also with a Norwegian club.
Ghislain Bebben, one of the coaches selecting players for the academy, said most of the girls show talent.
“I was surprised today and I am very happy because I trained with my young sisters and all those girls have good talents,” he said. “So, I think when Gaelle put that academy, I think those girls will receive good formation and they are going to have good talents.”
Rails Football Academy manager Frank Happy said they will choose 18 players for each age category. He said they’ve prepared a training program that does not clash the girls’ academic progress. Formal education, he said, will be vital not only in the girls’ lives but also to their careers as professional players.
SOURCE: Voice of America, BBC