Sara didn’t start playing football until she was 13, but now she plays in the Egyptian Premier League.
“When I was 13 years old a friend of mine told me about a football academy for girls only. I was really happy and at the same time was surprised that such academies and sports clubs do exist for girls.”
Sara was coached by Premier Skills Coaches Passant Tarek and Fayza Heider, Fayza was the first woman in Egypt to become a Premier Skills coach educator and now the first woman to coach a men’s professional team in the country.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Sara, as she not only was resisting cultural norms, but challenging the views of her own close family. “My community was in denial and refused to accept the idea of a girl playing football. They also perceive girls who play football as boyish or a 'tom-boy.' I had to fight the stereotypical ideas and negative comments that came from my family and community about girls can’t play football and that football is for boys only."
My mother wasn’t supportive at the beginning unlike my father, she was afraid that football might change me or might have a negative impact on my life. However, when she saw how happy I was because I was doing the thing I love and passionate about she began to accept me and my dream. She stood up for me and supported me all the way.”
Sara joined Eltayran club shortly after taking part in the Premier Skills programme and now plays for Said El Mahalla club. “Being part of the Premier Skills project has helped me in achieving my dream. I became stronger, I learned to hold on to my dream and keep following it, no matter what.”
In Egypt, Premier Skills continues to provide opportunities for Women and Girls, not only through the courses delivered, but the projects and initiatives driven by Coach Educators and Community Coaches.
Between August 2019 and September 2020, despite reduced activity due to the pandemic, 1217 girls took part in a Premier Skills activity and 126 Community Coaches have been trained in Egypt, 56 of whom were women.