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New documentary relives Saudi Greens’ historic journey at the Global Goals World Cup finals

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The six-minute film joins the team in New York City as they became the first female sports team from the Kingdom to compete in the USA

The Saudi Greens’ historic appearance at the 2019 Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup) has been immortalized in a new documentary by the Saudi Sports for All Federation.

Launched across the SFA website, YouTube channel, and social media accounts on Wednesday, February 24, the documentary chronicles the all-women football team’s journey at the tournament in New York City – the first time a female sports team from the Kingdom had ever competed in the USA.

The GGWCup unites sport and environmental awareness, with teams of women from around the world campaigning for the UN Sustainable Development Goal of their choice, while competing in five-a-side football tournaments. Regional heats determine which teams progress to the finals in New York, where the competition winner is decided based on the impact of their activism as well as their performance on the pitch.

In 2019, the Greens chose to focus on SDG 15 ‘Life on Land’, bringing attention to the effects of single-use plastics on the environment.

Prior to the tournament team members hosted community events and campaigns across the Kingdom, helping to educate people on the impact of plastics, and the wider SDGs in general.

Among their initiatives were the distribution of reusable bags, litter collection, awareness talks, collaborations with schools and sports clubs to collect plastic bottles, and family fun days to teach children about the importance of recycling.

Progressing through their qualifier in Copenhagen, the Greens joined 14 other teams at the 2019 finals, where they took second place.

The documentary highlights the team’s experience in New York, but not just in footballing terms. As well as sport and SDGs, the film reflects on social development, international bridge-building, and the Greens’ role in boosting female empowerment within Saudi Arabia.

Formed in 2018 under the auspices of the SFA, with support from the Ministry of Sports and Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, the Greens have come to symbolize progress, female empowerment and the ambitions of Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program.

Since the tournament, the team has hosted virtual work-out sessions for the Global Goals World Cup Clubhouse, contributed to SFA events and initiatives, and paved the way for Saudi Arabia’s first Women’s Football League, which was launched in February last year.

Their latest role is as ambassadors for the forthcoming GGWCup Saudi Arabia – the Kingdom’s first ever qualifying round of the global competition – due to take place this year.

Women across the Kingdom have the opportunity to not only emulate the success of the Greens, but also impact their communities by promoting their chosen SDGs and showing people how to act on them.

The applications process is open to women aged 18 and older but will close on February 28. Please visit https://ggwcup.com/ksa-2021-sign-up to register your team, select your chosen SDG, and start planning your initiatives.

Workshops are scheduled for March 9-10 to help registered teams prepare for the competition, as well as meet each other and the GGWCup and SFA teams.

Previous workshops on Feb 16-17 were attended by Greens coach Roaa Qattan and player Abeer AlHamidi, with discussions focusing on the GGWCup program and points system, and explanation of the SDGs, examples of impact initiatives by the Greens, and exercises to help teams plan their initiatives.

Related: Sports for All Federation announces the first ever Global Goals World Cup Saudi Arabia

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