Mahila Premier League kicks-off with a mission to empower girls and women

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Kathmandu, March 19, 2017: Mahila Premier League (MPL), organized by The WE United Project has kick-started on Saturday, March 18 at Grassroots Recreational Center in Mandikatar. Nepal’s first women’s futsal league, MPL is a fully women-run initiative: organized by women, played by women, and refereed by women. Over the course of eight weeks, eight teams will compete for the title of Kathmandu’s best women’s futsal team in order to promote a culture of competition, camaraderie, and collaboration in Nepali women’s futsal.

On the first day of the league, a total of around 80 women participated in four games. The excitement of the players was palpable, and fans were impressed by the level of play, including the fancy footwork, dynamic passing, and good sportsmanship on display. At the end of week one, Go Sports Nepal topped the table, followed by Real Madrid, and a tie for third place between Leeyash and ABC Girls.

Over the eight weeks, each team will play every other team once and points will be awarded for winning, tying and losing games. The top three teams at the end of the League will be awarded experiential team prizes, like rafting trips and rock climbing sessions. In support of The WE United Project’s mission to empower women and girls in Nepal through dynamic sport-based activities, the tournament will provide space for women players to interact with one another, develop skills on and off the field, and build a supportive network for women involvement in sport.

As the project has hired two young women League Coordinators and also two professional female referees: Maya Lama and Radhika Shakya, MPL is empowering not only players on the field but also young women seeking professional development. MPL participants will be approached and encouraged to serve as mentors for young women and girls interested in playing futsal, with a particular focus on girls enrolled in public schools in Kathmandu who may not have the infrastructure or social support to engage in sport.

The league is supported by the European Union and HamroKitchen.com.

FIFA-certified referees Maya Lama (left) and Radhika Shakya (right) inspire players to pursue a future in professional sport
Apex Girls are all smiles before their game against Leeyash
The organizing team of the Mahila Premier League after the closing of week one’s games

Photos Courtesy: The WE United Project