Here’s What Went Down at New Balance’s Berlin Community Football Event
A celebration of grassroots teams, sporting initiatives and the come-up of women’s football.
In the midst of a huge summer for women’s football, New Balance headed to Berlin last week to host its very own football tournament. Calling on football players, die-hard fans as well as local musicians and creatives, the event brought together a new cultural community, made up of those from all walks of life.
The event kicked off on a bright Sunday morning – a day which is typically dedicated to football’s “Sunday league” teams. Though the players in attendance would usually be preparing for a local kick-about, on this occasion, they made their way to central Berlin where the tournament took place on a special pitch in front of the historic St Elisabeth Church. Each team came kitted out head-to-toe, wearing pairs of the brand’s latest football boot pack, including the Furon v7 and Tekela v4 in both laceless high cut and laced low cut versions, as well as uniforms designed in their individual team colors. Dispersing onto the pitch in shades of red, green and black, the busy schedule of games commenced.
Over the course of the day, the teams played amongst the sounds of loud cheers and music from artists Babyjoy and Layla, battling it out to win the top spot and with that, the prize of an exclusive trip to watch FC Porto at the famous Estadio do Dragao stadium. But, aside from the competition, the event signified a moment of various groups coming together from across the world, celebrating one thing they have in common: inclusivity in female football.
“Many of us don’t have a history of playing football growing up so we don’t have the confidence to enter casual football clubs or space spaces, like local leagues” shares Gaia Laidler, club chairman of participating group Goal Diggers FC. Their team was set up especially for women and non-binary beginners in the sport with the aim of removing the barriers that prevent them from playing. Joined by over 1,200 people at the special occasion, Laidler adds, “This event was made for people like us. It’s great to harness the energy of female football fans, especially during the World Cup which we are all watching. We were speaking to a local German team earlier who agreed that it’s really nice to come together as a community.”
As Sports Mafia Girls were announced winners of the tournament, charity organization Outreach later took to the pitch to discuss the impact of the event and share a little insight into their youth social work. Chatting to Hypebae after the tournament, representative Zeljko said, “We all know the social power of sports, especially team sports. In mobile youth social work, we see every day how young people learn to manage conflicts differently through football, communicate better, stick together and act socially.”
After the day event ended and the atmosphere began to wind down, it seemed as if every guest came out a winner, whether it was the thrills of taking part, sharing stories with others or simply watching the games. Continuing the joys and delights of the tournament, New Balance later hosted an evening spectacle inside the hallowed church. Stages and sound systems were erected along with special exhibits of the football pack. Exploring the room, guests came together to discover the individual podiums holding the Furon and Tekela boots, getting a closer look at their unique construction. Following this, curated performances from Elif and a DJ set with DippedinColours lured the community onto the dancefloor to round off the night with new-found friends celebrating the women’s football community together.
From day to night, discover what went down at the football event in the gallery above. To shop New Balance’s latest football offering, head to the brand’s website now.
- Milena Zara
- Zacharie Bizimana
- Joe Maskall/ Hypebae
- Angelee Kholia/ Hypebae