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Participation is soaring, public interest is intensifying and the national team is selling out stadiums — these are heady times for women’s football in the Netherlands. The Orange Lionesses are tournament hosts for this summer’s European Championship and the strength of their support is indicative of a wider trend in Dutch #sport. Vrouwenvoetbal is on the up.
Ahead of this month’s tournament, #nike commissioned photographer Jane Stockdale to create ‘Game On’, a superb documentary photo series which provides a telling glimpse into the lives of those involved in this boom.
Meet Djennah Cherif, an 11-year-old from Rotterdam whose bedroom is a shrine to the football, and Roxanne ‘Rocky’ Hehakaija, a street player who honed her skills playing with the boys at her neighbourhood playground.
Then there are the talented teenagers of the CTO Academy in Amsterdam who will watch this summer’s matches with genuine aspirations of following in the footsteps of the Lionesses. They will be joined in the stands by the women of Majella Domstad, an amateur club in Utrecht drawing girls of all ages and backgrounds. And also meet the women who will carry home hopes. The Lionesses… focussed, fierce and proud.
Stockdale's work uncovers a deep and sincere passion for football in the Netherlands as the women's game heads into its summer of love.
Fully focused at the age of 11, Djennah doesn’t rememver a time when the game wasn’t her life. The Rotterdam resident has had a ball at her feet since she learned to walk. Encouraging her daughter’s unbreakable drive to be the best, Djennah’s mom drives her to practice most nights of the week.
Her Mondays are meant to be football-free, but she still finds a way to play, dreaming of signing with FC Barcelona when she’s older. While she has been offered a place on a girl’s side, Djennah thinks that taking on the boys is the challenge she needs.
More information on the press release
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