FAS ● Mar 08, 2021
Celebrating Women in Local Football
SINGAPORE, 8 MARCH 2021 – Meet the women of our local football scene – one story at a time. As part of an eight-installment feature to commemorate International Women’s Day, we will be celebrating women in the footballing fraternity by telling their individual stories in bite-sized format.
𝐘𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐒𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐮 𝐒𝐡𝐲𝐚𝐧
“Football has thrown me more challenges in life than anything else, on and off field. It has made me stronger; physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that there will be progress towards gender equality. Having more women in leadership roles, giving them more support, and empowering them to make the right decisions for women’s football development in Singapore.” – 𝑆ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑢 𝑆ℎ𝑦𝑎𝑛 (ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑞𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑛 𝑆𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑎𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑒)
“Football has given me the ability to grow as an individual. It has also helped me acquire a strong mentality and mindset when faced with challenges. Being in a team sport has also taught me the value of discipline and friendship.
I hope that we will be able to have a bigger pool of players for women’s football in Singapore, such as increasing the number of schools integrating women’s football as one of their co-curricular activities in school. It would also be great to witness more athletes getting the opportunity to hone their talents beyond Singapore.
On the national team front, I hope that overseas training tours will be implemented to provide players with the opportunity to travel abroad to pit themselves against opponents of various playing standards. It would also help them acclimatise to the weather if the competition is held in a non-tropical country, whilst also helping them gain international recognition. Participation in international friendly matches would also help them gain relevant exposure and experience that would hopefully lift the overall playing standard and performance of women’s football in Singapore.
Effort will never betray us. And we need to remember that wherever life takes us, we got this!” – 𝑆𝑖𝑡𝑖 𝑅𝑜𝑠𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑖 (𝑁𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑇𝑒𝑎𝑚 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑎𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠)
“From neighbourhood kick-abouts at the void decks as a child, to whistling at the world stage today – this has been my footballing journey thus far.
Playing football gave me the honour to represent Singapore on the international stage. Refereeing allowed me to continue doing so even after I hung up my playing boots.
Both playing and refereeing the game has given me the opportunity to forge beautiful friendships with the people I have met and worked with, both locally and internationally.
The memories made throughout my journey is something that I will hold close to my heart forever. Being part of a team, together with the amazing experiences and values that I have gained, has allowed me to grow and made me the person I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
My hope for women’s football in Singapore is to see more women getting involved in various aspects of the footballing landscape; whether it is playing, refereeing, or even in football management or administration.” – 𝐴𝑏𝑖𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑖 𝑁𝑎𝑖𝑑𝑢 (𝐹𝐼𝐹𝐴 𝑅𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑒)
𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐆𝐢𝐫𝐥 𝐆𝐨𝐚𝐥𝐬
“Football was there for me during the toughest periods of my life. Other than having fun through playing football, I also picked up life skills such as grit and the value of teamwork. I was fortunate to have caught the France vs USA quarter-final at the Women’s World Cup 2019 where I experienced the electrifying atmosphere, the battle of the loudest cheers and chants between the supporters, and the fully packed stadium filled with families – men and women clad in their favourite women footballers’ jerseys. That sparked in me the desire to do something for the sport, especially in Asia. Hopefully, with Soccer Girl Goals, we too can pass on that spark to more people in our generation and the next, and we’ll soon be able to experience the same World Cup atmosphere in women’s football in our region.” – 𝑆𝑡𝑒𝑓𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐽𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑊𝑒𝑛 (𝐹𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑆𝑜𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑟 𝐺𝑖𝑟𝑙 𝐺𝑜𝑎𝑙𝑠)
“Football is a beautiful game. I had the privilege of playing against some of Asia’s finest alongside some of the best teammates and coaches one could ever ask for. I came to appreciate what raw talent and sheer hard work can produce by looking at women footballers around the world. Watching Thailand perform so admirably against Sweden in France was definitely something special. As I grew older and became a senior player, I came to truly appreciate the significance of how injury prevention programmes and diligent gym work can help to keep players performing week in, week out on the pitch. On the flip side, football can also tear you apart physically, emotionally and mentally. Competing for club and country was one heck of a learning journey that has no doubt helped shape the player I eventually came to be, and led me to choose, love and cherish the job I do today.
The evolution of women in sport has been immense over the last couple of years. The speed at which women’s football in particular has grown globally is equally astonishing. Anyone who has watched the last two Women’s World Cup can tell that the standard of play has skyrocketed, leading to a substantial increase in coverage of professional women’s football in USA and Europe. My hope for women’s football in Singapore is for the team to compete and be successful in the SEA Games consistently.
Needless to say, there needs to be a strong direction and a lot of hard work put into achieving this. An increase in the local talent pool at grassroots level and quality of coaching at schools and clubs will allow for stronger leagues wherein positive competition encourages the drive to improve, which can subsequently help boost the calibre of the national team. It is a long shot and it may take more than a few years, but a long shot doesn’t mean it is impossible.” – 𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝐿𝑖𝑚 (𝑒𝑥-𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙)
“Football has boosted my confidence on and off the field, helping me become a better role model especially for my sons who are actively involved in football too. I can relate and share my experiences as well as knowledge with him and his teammates.
Football has also helped close the gender inequality gap, as we have come a long way from the time where it was seen solely as a men’s sport. That social stigma has since eased and women are now a lot more empowered to take up this sport.
I hope to see more women participating and showing continual support for women’s football as this is a critical component in providing opportunities for the next generation.” – 𝑀𝑎𝑠𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑎 𝑆𝑎𝑏𝑡𝑢 (𝑇𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑟)
𝐋𝐨𝐤 𝐊𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐠 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐠
“Li Xian started playing football in kindergarten, and we have since watched her train and compete in local and international tournaments. Through football, we bonded and became very close. It was a joy to watch her grow from a little girl trying to follow in the footsteps of her two older brothers chasing after a ball clumsily, to a confident young lady with a mean kick.
In Houston, where we lived for about three years, we were known as Soccer Mom and Soccer Dad. We had lots of fun travelling to different football fields every weekend and getting to know other like-minded parents who were there to support their children. The football academy at Houston had a very good developmental program for children aspiring to be football players. We hope that Singapore will also be able to create a similar environment and system to develop and nurture our aspiring footballers.
We also hope that our women’s national team will eventually be funded and given similar priority as the men’s national team.” 𝐿𝑜𝑘 𝐾ℎ𝑒𝑛𝑔 𝐿𝑖𝑛𝑔 and 𝐿𝑖𝑚 𝑆𝑤𝑒𝑒 𝐻𝑜𝑐𝑘 & (𝑃𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑊𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛’𝑠 𝑁𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑇𝑒𝑎𝑚 𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟, 𝐿𝑖𝑚 𝐿𝑖 𝑋𝑖𝑎𝑛)
𝐍𝐮𝐫𝐮𝐥 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐚 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐝 𝐒𝐲𝐚𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐧
“The progression of women’s football has made me believe that anything is possible with faith, even if it’s as tiny as an atom. To me, who I am as a person off the field has to align with who I am on the field because nothing is supposed to change. You are still you. The values I uphold are still the same. Women’s football taught me to be resilient, and to always believe in myself. That is certainly not possible without the guidance of the individuals I’ve met along the way. With that, I hope to see more girls being empowered whilst adopting a positive mindset as it is critical for their growth. I believe that football will guide these girls like how it did with me, and I am very grateful for that.” – 𝑁𝑢𝑟𝑢𝑙 𝐿𝑖𝑠𝑎 𝐵𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒 𝑀𝑜ℎ𝑎𝑚𝑚𝑎𝑑 𝑆𝑦𝑎ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑛 (𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑡 𝑆𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝐶𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑠 𝑆𝑁𝐿 𝐷𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑡 𝑊𝑒𝑠𝑡)