Tammy Darcy launched the Shona Project in 2016 to educate, inspire and empower young women to be kinder to themselves and each other and to achieve their full potential without seeing limits.
One of the aims of the project is to increase girls participation in sports, Stem, business and leadership by highlighting female role models in these areas and initiating programmes in schools and clubs.
Having coached soccer to girls and boys over the years Tammy has seen the benefits of sport in terms of self-esteem, relationships building, and body confidence. It really breaks Tammy’s heart to see so many young women drop out of sport as teenagers and feel that more needs to be done in this area.
“The teenage years can be so tough, and if you compare an 8 year old girl to an 18 year old, you can often see that their teen experiences often knock the stuffing out of them, they have given up, and they stop speaking up, and following their dreams. I myself had a very tough time, my sister was very ill with an acquired brain injury, my parents separated suddenly and traumatically, and I was bullied so mercilessly that I spent most break and lunchtimes hiding in the toilet with a book. It took me years to recover, as I felt like I wasn’t good enough or deserving of a positive future. We have too many “invisible” girls in Ireland who fly below the radar because they survive. But what if they could have been so much more ?
“Sport is so much more than just a game, it provides stress relief, teaches work ethic and body appreciation. Time and time again I have seen sport used as a safe place to go when home is not safe. I’ve seen coaches become the only positive role model a child has. We need to do more.”
Some wise words from Tammy Darcy, founder of the Shona Project. Also read why Tammy calls it the Shona Project here.