The story of an open-source effort promoting women’s football

Women’s Football 2017 is an open-source iOS & Apple Watch app dedicated to an upcoming Women’s Euro

Note: American readers should replace all occurrences of word “football” with “soccer”. Thank you for your understanding 😄

Women’s football is developing fast. Not only in terms of game quality, technical skills and tactics, but also in terms of cultural recognition and popularity among sport fans all over the world.

We are witnessing a rise of new stars — women players who are not just amazing footballers, but also role models for younger generations. Thanks to them, day after day football loses its doubtful masculine status, and more girls than ever choose football as their sports hobby or career. In most Nordic countries, youth football is already treated equally for boys and girls — that’s why we see women’s national teams of countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland among the leaders of women’s football.

However, there’s still a long way to go, and women’s football is still highly undervalued. Not just in terms of popularity, but also in terms of culture and equality. We see a huge rise of women’s football in the United States, which is much more popular than men’s football, yet women players are dramatically underpaid:

Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo are among the U.S. women’s team players filing a wage-discrimination action against the USSF, saying the women are paid almost four times less than the men’s team, despite generating nearly $20 million more in revenue.

ESPN

And this is completely ridiculous from any point of view.

One thing that we, fans of women’s football, can do to support its growth, is to simply raise awareness about it. And you can do it basically with any skill you have.

If you’re a blogger or have a large audience in Twitter/Facebook/any other social media, you can write about the large events in women’s football. If you’re a great storyteller, you can just tell more people about women’s football. If you’re a photographer, go make a report of your local team’s game. It shouldn’t be intrusive for you — it’s a series of a small choices and side projects with a small side effect of helping women’s football.

The Story

And what about me? Well, I’m an iOS developer. I make apps. And one day I realized that what I can do is to make a cool app for women’s football. More specifically — for an upcoming UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, which is going to be held in Netherlands from July 16 to August 6. And this is what I did. The app is conveniently called Women’s Football 2017, it’s available on the App Store worldwide, and it’s free and open-source:

It has all the things you need to follow the tournament. Schedules, team info, group tables, etc. You can mark teams (or distinct matches) as favorite and receive notifications about their games.

One thing I’m also really proud of is its Apple Watch app, more specifically — Apple Watch complication. It really gives you the most fluent way to see what’s going on. When the game is on, you see the current score. At other times you see an announcement of the closest match. You can rotate digital crown to see how the score changed or to see what’s next. And also every complication family is supported, even those with very constrained space. In some places, you may see something like “GER 1:0” instead of “Germany 1:0 Sweden”, but, well, it still makes sense, and you’re still able to put this complication wherever you want.

Even though the app is pretty basic, I feel good about it. Developing it as a purely non-commercial side project has been a fun experience with a lot of experimenting.

And don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that my app is the only possible way to follow Women’s Euro 2017. UEFA itself made an amazing app called UEFA Women’s Football. Major football apps like Forza Football or 365scores also has support for this tournament (I hope OneFootball, which is another major player, will add the support in the following few days left). But that’s the situation where the wider the choice, the better it is for everyone. The more apps out there promoting women’s football, the more impact they have together.

Contributing

Women’s Football 2017 is open-source, which means it’s also completely open for contributions. Perhaps the easiest way to contribute is to share the app or this article with your audience, which will be very appreciated!

If you want to directly contribute to the project, like contributing to the codebase or helping us with the design, you can start by creating an issue on GitHub.

If you want to help the project in any other way, please contact me at dreymonde@me.com.

Acknowledgments

I want to mention those who helped me to create Womens’ Football 2017:

  • Dasha Dreiman, my sister and the one who’s behind that beautiful icon and color palette.
  • Alexander Bogomolov, my friend who consulted me on creating and deploying my very first Ruby/Sinatra back end application.

Thank you a lot for reading this post! Again, if you like it, please share it — it will help a lot. I also have a Medium publication called AnySuggestion where I write about Swift and iOS development, so feel free to check it out if you’re interested. You can also contact me on Twitter.