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Brittany Gropp: Supporting Young Spanish Girls Through Football and Mentorship

Brittany Gropp: Supporting Young Spanish Girls Through Football and Mentorship

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Brittany Gropp, the founder of FutboLISTAS. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Brittany is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Brittany, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through FutboLISTAS?

Brittany: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! We want to make sure girls in Southern Spain have a safe and welcoming place to play on the football field. This is important because not only is football fun, but it also helps kids to create healthy habits, make friends, and learn skills that are important for their future careers—whether they want to be professional footballers, engineers, teachers, or doctors! For many years in Spain, girls weren't allowed to play football, so they missed opportunities to play and learn. Luckily, over the past several years, that has been changing thanks to organizations like FutboLISTAS and brave female professional footballers who have shared their stories. At FutboLISTAS, we teach girls English and life skills through football and mentorship.

Spiffy: That’s so cool! What motivates you to do it?

Brittany: I grew up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean from Spain, in the U.S. I was very lucky because even when I was little, I always had female professional footballers to look up to and tons of local clubs with girls' teams. I moved to Seville, Spain when I was 26 years old, and I was very sad to see that most clubs did not have girls' teams. I began speaking with local families to learn more, and it turned out there were lots of young girls who wanted to play—they just did not have a designated space or team! I decided to start FutboLISTAS to change that. At FutboLISTAS, all girls between five and twelve years old can play football, learn, and have fun with us! I love helping them achieve their goals on and off the field.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Brittany: We help girls who want to play football by creating a non-competitive, welcoming, and safe environment on the football pitch! With FutboLISTAS, girls can learn to dribble, pass, and shoot, and they also learn to communicate, lead, be a good teammate, and overcome challenges. Once a month, we have female mentors come visit us—these mentors can be journalists, biologists, authors, or neurologists! They speak with our girls about their interesting careers and help the girls understand that the skills we learn on the field are extremely helpful for careers off of the field, too! Overall, we support girls on the football field and teach them to dream big off of it.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Brittany: This past summer, during the dates of the Women's World Cup, FutboLISTAS ran a summer camp called Más Que Campeonas (More Than Champions) in collaboration with Fútbol Más, the Junta de Andalucía, and the Fundación Real Betis. The camp ran Monday through Thursday in four different neighborhoods in Seville for nearly 200 girls. We also traveled to two neighboring cities—Rota and Huelva—so that our girls could play and learn with other girls in Andalucía. In addition to playing football, the girls also watched Spain's National Team play (and eventually win!) the World Cup, and they even had the chance to connect with several female professional footballers via video!

Spiffy: Wow! Thanks for speaking with me today, Brittany—it’s been an honor!

Brittany Gropp has more than 10 years of partnerships and business development experience across the private and social sectors in the US and Spain. Originally from the Washington, DC Metro Area, she moved to Seville, Spain in 2016. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for girls in football in Seville, she founded her award-winning nonprofit in 2019. FutboLISTAS’ mission is to teach girls English and life skills through football and mentorship. In August 2023, Brittany began a new role as Partner Development Manager at Adrenali.ne, which aims to transform sponsorship in European football via geo-targeted advertising technology and its new revolutionary platform. Brittany is passionate about leveraging partnerships to create impact. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 30, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.