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“From Afghanistan to Europe. Soccer as a tool to empower girls and women from all backgrounds” Nagin Ravand

 

“In football, we all speak the same language.”

 

With heart in hand, Nagin Ravand tells the the story of how her family escaped Afghanistan and took refuge in Denmark. How soccer changed her life, and how her mission has become to open these opportunities to other women and girls from all backgrounds.

 

Nagin is 22 years old soccer player and coach who has become a role model for many other girls in her community as she decided to break the stereotype. She found soccer by chance at the age of 8 and immediately fell in love with the sport.
She describes how as she was improving her sporting skills as a child and was called to join higher level teams, she began to face difficulties that prevented her from pursuing this path due to a lack of financial and structural support.

 

“My father was a journalist who advocates for human rights in Afghanistan. He was tortured before he managed to escape the country with his family. My whole family went through a lot. I was just three years old when we finally settled in Denmark, but my parents struggled to find their place in a new country where they didn’t even speak the language.”

 

Women playing soccer in Afghanistan? Unfortunately, it is a difficult image to project in the collective mindset.

 

“Culturally, it was a shock for my parents to see me join a soccer team, but they have always supported me because they saw that it made me happy. However, they didn’t have a car to take me to games in other cities, and they couldn’t spend large amounts of money on equipment. So something that seemed like a given for other girls my age was out of reach for me.
I was aware that even though my sports skills were good, I would not be able to continue to progress to a professional sports career because of this lack of support.”

 

These challenges did not just happen to her, and many children face the same problems that stop them from practicing sports or improving their performance at a higher level.
“To explore the full potential of your talent, you need support,” said Nagin.

 

She states that the structure is not accessible to all, and she is determined to change the game. “Once on the football pitch, the only thing that defines us is the color of our t-shirt,” Nagin insists.

 

Would you like to know more about Nagin’s overcoming story? How is she challenging the game to open de door to everyone?

 

Then plug into this SportWorks TALK hosted by Luisa Garzón and join a genuine and honest conversation with Nagin Ravand, where she is also replying to a bunch of questions from the global audience who attended online.

 

Still reading? Press PLAY! 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Sport 4 Development, SportWorks TALKS, Women in Sport

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