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Women, Sport, and Film - Spring 2005
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Paper #3

Calisse Pollina

In the year 2010, which is not so far off into the future, I will direct a movie about a suburban girls soccer team and city girls track team. The movie will flip back and forth between the two teams, beginning with the girls as elementary students and following them on up through high school.

The suburban soccer team is comprised of girls who all grew up together. They went to the exact same elementary school, played in the same town soccer league, participated in the same Girl Scout Troop, and had formed a bond over their many years of knowing each other, which helped to greatly improve their teamwork on the field and their friendships off the field. Having the background between these girls proved to be wonderful for the coaches of the team, because they did not have to worry about forming unity among the girls, and since they had been playing soccer together for so long, they all knew how to blend together on the field, giving the coaches the easy job of improving upon the skills that they already had.

For the girls on this team, they had no worries about college, they all knew that they would be attending university, it was just a matter of which one they wanted to go to. They all also knew that once they left for college that they would leave soccer behind in their town. Soccer was not something that would get them anywhere, and since they had all been groomed to play together, they saw no need to continue playing as they had no need for scholarships, and soccer wouldn't be a lifestyle for them, they just figured that they would go on and have a fun college experience.

When following the childhood of the city girls, there's a much different story. Only two of the girls grew up together, some moved from other countries later on in their lives, and some just simply grew up in another part of the city. Regardless, none of them had the same experiences. A few had run track while in middle school, although for most it was an entirely new experience. When they get to high school and decide to join the track team, they must deal with not only learning how to compete in track, but also how to form team harmony. At times there are some fights amongst the girls, and some rough meets, but by the time they reach their junior year, they are winning all the city championships and some are competing at the state championships.

For many of the girls on the track team, track is their golden key, without it they have no chance of going to college, so they push themselves as hard as they can to achieve their very best. When it comes time to go to college, the very best on the team are able to go, and those who are not as good are left at home, wondering what their life could have been like.

The focus of the movie will be on the senior years of the two teams. The soccer team which had performed extremely well for years begins to slip in the rankings as they lose games and the girls lose focus as they are looking towards their future, which is not involving soccer. The track team works harder than they ever have in hopes that the sport will provide a way for them to improve their future. Another aspect that I intend to focus on is the advantage that the suburban team has by knowing each other for so much longer. Because they grew up around each other they had the distinct advantage of not having to work out the kinks that a team that's assembled in high school must in a shorter amount of time in order to become successful.

My movie will end with the two teams at their 25th high school reunions. The city girls who went on to compete collegially all have the lives they wanted. Some of the women who were not able to get scholarships did not give up on their love of the sport and continued running, some all the way to the Olympics. Sadly, some had become so defeated that they gave up on the sport and led lives that were not in line with the dreams they once had. At the reunion of the soccer team, they had all mostly become stay at home mothers, some who were coaching their daughters soccer teams, but none of them had continued playing in soccer once they got to college. Needless to say, none of them had competed on national level either. Some of the women looked back on their time playing soccer with regret that they hadn't continued, and others were fine not continuing, but all were glad that they had had the experience that they did.

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