A group of women from worker co-ops are looking to set up a co-operatives football team to enter the Freedom Through Football tournament.
The idea came to life during the Worker Co-operative Weekend at the Foundry Adventure Centre, Derbyshire, where Jane Turner, a member of Suma Wholefoods Co-operative, and Rowan Powell, a member and senior designer at Calverts co-operative, discovered a shared passion for the beautiful game.
“Myself and Rowan mentioned that we were looking to form a team and a few others expressed interest too,” said Ms Turner, who plays for a club in Leeds that is part of the International Freedom Through Football movement, which runs international football carnivals and tournaments, fights racism and promotes inclusion and ethical football.
“We’re busy designing a team logo and plan to make our debut at a great little tournament in Thorncombe, Dorset over the weekend of 28-30 July. It’s a really friendly, inclusive tournament that’s much more about taking part and having fun than it is about being the best and winning at all costs.
“Camping, food, music, beers and lighthearted football fun for a whole weekend – what could be better?”
The Dorset event is part of the Freedom Through Football tournament, which is hosted annually by a different club in the network, in a different country.
The co-op team organisers also want to take part in tournaments such as Mondiali Antirazziti in Bologna, Italy – the biggest anti-racist tournament – and a competition in St Pauli Antira in Hamburg.
“Although the organisers of these events don’t necessarily identify as ‘co-operatives’ as such, there are many similarities around democratic member control and co-operation,” said Ms Turner. “I thought a women’s co-ops team would be a great fit.”
The two founders are looking to recruit more women players from the co-op movement, regardless of whether they have experience or not, and are available the weekend of 28-30 July.