My name is Ashna Patel, I am 14 years old and I have been playing soccer since I was about 5 years old. I currently play for San Ramon 06G NPL.  As a 10 year old playing soccer, I always wanted to be unique, but I am not an overly outgoing person.  At one of my games, I saw some girls that had rolled up their sleeves during a hot summer game. I immediately thought that was the coolest thing ever.

20 sets of shoulder straps on their way to Paraguay for the girls of Las Pioneras.

At first, I started using whatever I had to tie up my sleeves. I used pre-wrap, string, yarn, anything. At some point I was given a fabric + velcro strap for my birthday and I wore them everyday.  One day I lost them and had nothing to use. Instead of buying new straps, my mom decided to try to sew some for me.

A few months later, at my soccer game, I saw a bake sale raising money for young girls in Paraguay and that is where I met Pamela with Girls Soccer Worldwide™. I started talking to Pamela and I found a small way that I could help with their mission during an upcoming trip to South America. I asked her if I could start making the straps that I love, for girls in Paraguay and her answer was YES!  (VIDEO LINK BELOW)

Gabby with Girls Soccer Worldwide™ sharing Ashna’s gift with the girls in Paraguay.

First step to making these was learning how to sew. Having never sewn using a sewing machine before, it took me a while to get the hang of it. After spending almost every night sitting behind a sewing machine, I ended up making 20 sets and 40 total straps.

Ashna wearing her self-designed shoulder straps.

When I saw pictures and videos of these girls in Paraguay wearing the straps that I made, I was very excited.  I am hoping to continue making these straps to share what I love with even more girls.

Young futbolera in Coronel Bogado wearing Ashna’s shoulder straps with pride.

UPDATE from Girls Soccer Worldwide™:   Ashna  has reached out to us since our last trip in hopes of making more shoulder straps and the answer was, of course,  YES!  Her plan is to create sets for the girls in our Grassroots Leadership program that is launching this fall for the 2020-2021 school year in South Hayward.  Stay tuned for more of Ashna’s creativity to be shared with girls in the Bay Area playing the beautiful game we all love. Thank you Ashna for sharing your heart with our girls 6000 miles away!

Young girl in Paraguay who is all smiles after receiving Ashna’s gift of shoulders straps from Girls Soccer Worldwide™

CLICK HERE for our 90 SECOND VIDEO from Paraguay with Las Pionera’s girls

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