Tibet Establishes First Women’s Soccer Team

June 25, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. round up [round uhp] (phrasal v.) – to gather or bring together for a particular purpose
Example Lester rounded up his high school friends for a basketball game.

2. empower [em-POU-er] (v.) – to give someone more control or power over his or her own life; to allow someone to do something
Example The government empowered the athletes by providing better training facilities.

3. skepticism [SKEP-tuh-siz-uh m] (n.) – the act of doubting or being unsure of something
Example Skepticism went away after the young girl showed the crowd what she can do.

4. patriarchal [pey-tree-AHR-kuh l] (adj.) – relating to a system of society that is controlled or dominated by men
ExampleWomen are not given a lot of opportunities in a patriarchal society.

5. intensely [in-TENS-lee] (adv.) – in an extreme manner
Example: Kate practiced intensely for the swimming competition.


Read the text below.
Tibet’s first women’s soccer team, consisting of an American teacher and 27 high school students, has been proving its critics wrong.

Cassie Childers, a 31-year-old teacher from New Jersey, observed that the government funds only the boys' school soccer clubs. She then rounded up female players from nine schools last year, aiming to create a Tibetan women's national team in Dharamsala and to empower the Tibetan women.

However, the creation of the soccer team received skepticism and disapproval from other people. José Cabezón, a professor of Tibetan cultural studies in the U.S., said that while Tibetan women are considered powerful within their families, they do not play a considerable role in society. Cabezón added that these patriarchal patterns cannot be changed easily.

With a lot to prove, Childers' team trained intensely for a month for its first tournament match. On the big day, about 5,000 Tibetans witnessed the first female soccer team walk onto the field.

During the second half of the game, Lhamo Kyi scored the first goal ever done by a Tibetan woman. Although the team has lost the game, Childers said that the goal created a significant change, adding that she never heard another negative comment again.

Midfielder Phuntsok Dolma said the team has shown that women can also do what men can do. She advised other girls to take every opportunity and never give up in empowering themselves.

Having proven their skills, the Tibetan women soccer players are now aiming for full international status from FIFA by 2017.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Tibet’s women soccer team empowers other Tibetan women? Why do you think so?
·         Why do you think the critics changed their mind about the women’s soccer team? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, are female athletes just as good as male athletes? Why or why not?
·         Aside from sports, what other fields can women be very good at? Why do you say so?


June 25, 2013