The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville organized the fifth edition of the annual Girls’ Soccer Tournament, “Tournoi Promo Jeunes Filles,” in partnership with the Memorial Pierre Savorgnan De Brazza and the telecommunications company MTN-Congo from March 8-15, 2014. The tournament brought together eight (8) soccer teams from each neighborhood in Brazzaville. Building from previous editions, this tournament was themed, “Sports: A Medium for Girls’ Development,” and encouraged young women’s empowerment, sports, and education.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Women’s Day, March 8, Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan talked about her passion for soccer and emphasized the importance of team work, leadership skills, and self-esteem. She encouraged the soccer players to take ownership of these values in their contributions toward a brighter future in Congo. At the end of the week-long tournament, all teams were awarded medals and soccer balls in addition to jerseys and cleats. At the closing ceremony, DCM Strother Murray encouraged all young girls to take their successes in soccer as proof that they can succeed in life, achieve their dreams, stay in school, and become a future leader of Congo. Players from winning teams also received smart phones from MTN-Congo and trophies from the U.S. Embassy. The tournament had an extensive media coverage and attracted more than 4000 students.