6 Triangle United Girls Team up with "Girlz got Skillz" in South Africa

April 1-April 11

6 girls from the U15 Triangle United Gold team have teamed up with 5 other players from the Washington Freedom Women’s Program to travel to South Africa with "Girlz got Skillz". Montana Weitzel, Kalyn Fowler, Kimmie O’Brien, Sophia Oliverio, Shelby Hicks and Ali Schumacher, along with Cindy Parlow (U15 Coach and TU Girls) and Danielle Slaton (Washington Freedom) for 10 days.

SKILLZ is more than prowess on the pitch; it’s the kind of smarts that carries you through your life, the stuff of a healthy young adulthood, no matter where in the world you’re from or wherever you go. In early April more than 40 young female footballers from Namibia, South Africa and the United States will converge on Cape Town for five days to meet face-to-face for the very first time, undertake activities that challenge their notions of health and social matters, and walk away life-long friends and leaders, ready to take on the major issues that affect their lives -- and help others do the same ...

... all through a shared love of football.

It’s clear autumn sky above Table Mountain, but the air at sea level is thick with anticipation in the final stretch for World Cup and as fifty precocious young women and their professional-footballer mentors from South Africa, Namibia and the United States make their way to the Mother City for Girlz Got Skillz: A Young Women’s Summit on Health, Leadership & Empowerment. Running April 6 through 10, and presented by Grassroot Soccer, Johnson & Johnson and Academy for Educational Development, regional partners in youth HIV/AIDS prevention, it’s a wholly unprecedented initiative that explores pressing issues in young-womanhood and aims to make community leaders out of its participants, using football as the denominator.

The delegates get right down to business from the moment of arrival, with orientation exercises and a welcome ceremony to break the ice, get the energy up and establish an open, candid dialogue that lays groundwork for a five-day itinerary replete with special interactions, subject matters and assignments.

A snapshot of what’s in store:

* Intensive, daily indoctrination in the Skillz youth HIV education and prevention curriculum. Normally an eight-week process, Skillz is the cornerstone of Grassroot Soccer’s intervention programming.

* The Resiliency Race, a journey through South African women’s history and leadership by way of Cape Town. It concludes with a luncheon with Impumelelo, publisher of an annual that recognizes top women in business and government.

* A group tour of the community of Khayelitsha, home to our South African delegates and Skillz coaches, who will lead the tour.

* A visit from Johnson & Johnson partner mothers2mothers, who specialize in working with pregnant women and mothers living with HIV.

* Skillz Café, a roundtable about young women’s health and gender issues.

* Leadership workshops, led by our pro-footballer ambassadors.

* A concluding day of activity with a community health & sports fair at Football for Hope Centre, Grassroot Soccer’s home base in Khayelitsha, followed by a farewell sunset boat cruise around Table Bay Harbor.

While clear that our young leaders-in-the-making have their work cut out for them, they’ll get more than their fair share of leisure time and opportunity to enjoy each other’s company with a group tour of Green Point Stadium (Cape Town’s stunning new venue for 2010 World Cup), a hike up Lion’s Head, a big braai (South African barbecue), a girlz-only football tournament and, to top it all off, a slumber party.

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