Case study of girls' soccer camps with Júlia Vergueiro, President of Pelado Real Futebol Clube, Brazil
Born to a soccer-loving family in Sao Paulo, Julia grew up within walking distance of Sao Paulo FC's stadium and has regularly attended games with her family since she was a child. After university, she worked as a sustainability analyst for a national bank. After 3 years treading a promising path, she decided to quit her job and join a friend, Bibi, who had started to organize a group of women to get together and play soccer, named Pelado Real Futebol Clube, firstly founded in 2011. After they became partners, this group started getting more and more serious, and within two years parents began contacting the group about training their young daughters. Since then, the club has partnered with Italian soccer club Juventus to run a camp for girls in the city, and now runs its own Girls Soccer Clinic, Soccer School for Girls, and regular training sessions for adult women. In total, more than 200 girls and women participate in PRFC's monthly activities.
As the club has risen to prominence, Júlia has worked to ensure its sustainability by establishing partnerships with local and national partners for field space and equipment and to reach a bigger audience of girls and women. The club acquired NIKE as its main sponsor and partnered with Turma da Mônica - one of the most popular and loved brands in Brazil - to create the first and only Girls Soccer Camp in the country.
In 2015, Júlia also founded a media project named "Dibradoras" with 3 other women aiming to give more visibility to female sports. It started as a facebook page and then grew to weekly podcast, big conferences and some smaller workshops. Júlia left Dibradoras in 2017 in order to focus on Pelado's development, but the other founders are still doing a great job with it.
Last year (2018), Júlia was nominated to be one of the 15 delegates participating in the Global Sports Mentoring Program, a US Department of State initiative launched in 2012 as a collaboration with ESPN and the University of Tennessee that aims to empower women through sports by pairing female Delegates from around the globe with female executives at leading U.S. companies in the sports sector for a month-long mentorship experience.
Júlia hopes to further demonstrate the potential of women's soccer in her country and the way supporting its growth can positively impact brands and the society as a whole.
Júlia earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo. Outside of work, she enjoys playing soccer, the beach, and spending time with her 2-years-old mutt dog, Bedoya.