Exploring the Role of Coaches in Helping Burmese Girls Harness Soccer for Empowerment


It’s not common to see Burmese women participating in sports because they are more likely to assume the household responsibility, and remain in their homes to take care of their family members. A non-profit organization that was established 10 years ago, and with small goals, is now changing stereotypes about gender roles among Burmese refugees who reside in Thailand. It’s a Burmese custom for women to stay at home. However, outdoor activities typically, are carried out by males. James is a Chin-based soccer instructor who is part of PlayOnside (a non-governmental organisation located near border with Thailand). Thai frontier).

Based on estimates, about thousands of refugees have sought shelter in the border’s nine camps. A different section of Burmese refugees reside within Mae Sot which is a close town. PlayOnside was created to aid in the development of local projects to help the most vulnerable and marginalized refugee and migrants along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.

Javier Almagro (current director) embarked on an adventure across Spain’s borders to determine whether there was a way to ensure that Burmese youngsters could be given equal chances in sports. Almagro together with Daen who was the director, organized The Amore Cup tournament in an effort to unite the Thai and Burmese migrants. Results showed that Thai kids and girls had more involvement in the tournament than Burmese youngsters who did not have adequate facilities or playing areas. Almagro was astonished by the difference and said “From ……

Almagro said that, after a few months of training after which it became clear for Almagro and his group that the concept needed been firmly established. PlayOnside was founded on the idea that soccer could provide a viable way to offer education and strength for people of Burmese or Karen descendents who were exiled from Thailand. It is a great sport to transform socially as it provides fun and educational games for young girls particularly those who live near the borders between Thailand and Myanmar.

The group grew quickly thanks to the generous donations of its donors and the assistance of the larger Burmese migrants. It was able to allow Burmese teenagers who resided within Mae Sot to take part in the tournaments that were held in Bangkok as well as other cities. Almagro states that the group’s distinct mission in the border region has allowed it to expand naturally and more attention was awarded for the organization’s efforts in providing an enjoyable and safe environment for Burmese immigrants. The initial participation was extremely limited to women. But, in the past decade, more awareness programs have enabled the group to establish solid relationships with local Burmese communities to improve the acceptance of Burmese migrants.

The report of the Women’s Sports Foundation states that sport has been an important social-cultural experience for girls and boys for a long time. The sport has brought numerous benefits including improved confidence in one’s self, academic achievement, confidence in your body, as well as higher levels of confidence. The study further shows women who do not participate in sports from a young stage are at a disadvantage when it comes to working. We are particularly pleased with our accomplishments to promote inclusion and empowerment as well as increasing participation in these sports by Burmese girls who are migrants.


The distinctive mission of the group located on the border between Thailand and Myanmar enabled it to connect with a lot of Burmese migrants to provide them with the opportunity to learn and have fun. The organization has also managed to establish close relationships with Burmese communities through increasing awareness. This has led to an increase in the participation of women. It’s admirable that the group has worked long to give Burmese youngsters a chance to be unique. It will be an enormous benefit for the next years to come.

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