Women's football isn't welcome everywhere but it is in Hanover. Teams from Senegal, Jordan and South Africa trained there for a week and journalists attending a DW Akademie multimedia workshop reported on the event.
Football is more than just a sport, said Siyabonga Kalipa. "It can also change social attitudes. With football you have to play together, and that can help reduce racist tensions and other prejudices." Siyaboga Kalipa, a South African journalist, took part in a DW Akademie multimedia workshop held early September. Together with seven colleagues from Jordan, Germany, South Africa and Senegal he reported on the international football encounter "Football: Hope for the Future".
Three women's football teams from Senegal, Jordan and South Africa kicked the ball one week long in Hanover. They'd been invited by Germany's football association, DFB, and the sport and cultural club Discover Football. It's not a given that women play football in their countries. And for these women, football is more than just a hobby - it's also about fighting for gender equality. For many it was their first trip abroad and they arrived with energy and enthusiasm.
That energy was contagious. Journalists taking part in DW Akademie's multimedia workshop created a blog and reported daily on the games, training sessions and social activities. "These journalists worked hard," said DW Akademie project manager Verena Wendisch. "At the end of the day they'd sit down again to plan new topics and fine tune the blog."
The blog offers everything from interviews with the players, background information on their countries, a picture gallery and video clips.
It was a new experience for Shaherah M. Khatatbeh, a Jordanian journalist working for the independent web portal, Ammannews. "The only time I report on football," she said, "is when there've been riots after a local game." Together with her workshop colleagues she worked on innovative and creative online journalism formats. She's aiming to apply her new skills back home but said there was currently little room for sports reports. "The political upheavals right now are keeping us really busy."
Reporting on women's soccer was also new for Senegalese journalist Amon Remy Mallet and he was pleased to interview the former German national football player, Steffi Jones. She's now DFB's director for women's soccer and gave the three teams a private training session. Mallet later posed arm-in-arm for a photo with the former German football star.