The #1 Girls only international soccer tournament Interview with President Paul Stewart
News Update - Dallas International Girls Cup - The #1 Girls only international soccer tournament
Interview with Paul Stewart – President of the Dallas Texans Soccer Club
In 2021 the Dallas International Girls Cup (DIGC) took place for the 10th time. The Dallas Texans Soccer Club with support from Nike the club’s #1 sponsor over 20 years created this tournament because we thought our girls teams should have the same opportunity to play in high quality international competition as the boys teams do in the Dallas Cup. It is a source of pride for the club that the DIGC has become the #1 all-girls international soccer tournament based on the number and quality of foreign teams and US teams that participate. The tournament is a great opportunity for our higher division teams to learn new skills in high level international competition and to have a great experience getting to know and play against foreign players. But even our lower division teams can benefit from watching the games and seeing the different styles of play.
Below is an interview with club president Paul Stewart about the DIGC.
What was you main reason of starting this girls only tournament more than 10 years ago?
I saw that my son benefited greatly from playing against foreign teams in the Dallas Cup and in two trips to play in tournaments in Europe. We had some girls teams that also traveled to Europe, but the Dallas Cup had dropped girls teams early on because there simply wasn’t enough competition from non-US teams in the early days. That situation has changed dramatically, so we decided to start the DIGC. We are always looking for ways to create opportunities for our players, at all levels of skill and interest, to improve their soccer skills and to have great life experiences through soccer.
When the DIGC started, did you know that it would become such an iconic tournament?
Already in its first year we were able to sign competitive teams from the USA and around the world. And the interaction of the foreign and US girls and the international experience it gave them was exactly what we hoped for. We get more teams than the Dallas Cup from far-away places like Australia, South Africa, and Japan, along with the major clubs from Europe and Latin America.
Why has the value of Dallas Girls International Cup not been recognized among the girls as much as the Dallas Cup among the boys?
The Dallas Cup has been around for a long time and it is a well-established tournament, so I guess it is only natural that it is better known and attracts more attention. But I think that the longer we continue to do a great job with the DIGC, and the more we can let people know about its unique features, the more support and appreciation we should get from the parents and players. Because girls naturally communicate better, I think more fun and more lasting relationships are formed with the foreign players in the DIGC than the Dallas Cup.
What are the goals for the near future?
We will include for 2022 younger girls (starting as young as 2015 teams). And our opening ceremony will be in the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, with more than 6,000 girls and family members attending. Unlike opening ceremonies in a big stadium, ours allows more interaction and communication with the foreign teams and players, Nike always gives us their latest great promotional video and will make sure we have a special guest for Q&A, and there is a lot of fun entertainment. Because of the current pandemic we are a little limited with attracting international top teams. We hope that this will be over in 2023. When the pandemic is over we will create some other great news things for the tournament.
What would you like to see from the Dallas Texans teams, coaches and families:
A core part of the tournament is the homestay program and our volunteers who help with being field marshals and parking coordinators. We know that a tournament like this is a lot of work by many people, but we are convinced that it creates great experiences for our kids on and off the field, and the work is worthwhile. So I hope our parents will continue to step up when we call for their help. We are also always looking for help with finding sponsors (a sponsorship package is available), finding vendors who would like to sell their product and finding sources with TV and any type of media. Please e-mail Loek van Zijl – our tournament director – at Loek@premierinternationaltours.com if you can help us out. And please “like” the DIGC and follow it on FB, Instagram and Twitter and share our posts!