Interview: Girl Power for Darfur United and ConIFA
She’s only 26, Sara-Christine Dallain, but she’s already Project Coordinator for i-ACT, and responsible for Darfur United. And since the General Meeting in Cologne she’s our Director of Culture and Youth Exchange.
Every good organization needs a strong woman. “Being involved in a global football organization is a new endeavor for me. I haven’t given too much thought to being the only female, but I am certainly surrounded by men who are a little older and more experienced in this field – quite an honor. What I may lack due to my young age, I hope that I make up for with my diverse experiences, my energy and fresh perspective.”
Living in southern California Dallain’s favorite sport and biggest passion is… surfing. “But no worries: I love watching and playing football. I’m a big fan of the U.S. women’s team, and I would love to see football and its popularity grow in the States.”
With Darfur United Sara-Christine has probably the most difficult team to lead. “We are a novice team in comparison to our competitors. The players do not consistently train as a team because they all live in different camps. They play and practice on sand and dirt. Many did not own shoes before joining the team. In the refugee camps they live in tough conditions and have a lack of nutritional intake. Furthermore, we do face many logistical and financial obstacles to getting the team to Östersund. Since they are a group of refugees, it’s always an arduous process to actually get the team out of the country. But we’re a very ambitious, passionate and hardworking group, so I hope we will succeed.”
We too, because Darfur United is one of the most enthusiastic teams. “The 2012 team players are proud and excited! When you mention Darfur United, they’re faces light up with the biggest smiles. It’s incredible, so much pride. We are holding new tryouts for this year’s team, which means no existing player is guaranteed a spot on the team. So I’m sure it will be much more intense this time around, especially now that everybody knows the team and believes that it’s a real opportunity to play on a global stage.”
Of course, Darfur United can still use some help. “The easiest way to help is to visit our website and start following and sharing the team’s story on social media. People also can donate money to help us get the team to Östersund. We offer different sponsorship levels, including the opportunity to sponsor a player. Or people can simply donate any amount to the team in general. There are many needs, so I welcome people to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I’d be happy to send and share more detailed information!”