I was delighted to be named Scottish Women in Sport’s Role Model of the Year and to be a finalist in a national newspaper’s Young Scot Awards in the Diversity category for my football coaching work.
“I am happiest when I am on the pitch but, as an Asian girl, starting in football was hard. People didn’t have high expectations of what I could do and I got weird looks. I was the only girl on the school football team and on top of that I was Asian. Even now it is uncommon for Asian women to play. So I am committed to coaching girls from minority ethnic communities in the sport and encouraging them to kick down cultural barriers.
“I started playing at five and play for SEMSA (Scottish Ethnic Minorities Sports Association) and coach eight- to 15-year-old girls, largely from minority ethnic communities. So many of them remind me of myself.
“I have been scouted and been offered a scholarship to play but I am focusing on my education. My three sisters and brother all attended GCU and I chose to study Accountancy here as I have always been intrigued and captivated by the world of business. I thoroughly enjoy my programme as there is such a variety of modules, and I’m always learning different things. This summer I had a summer internship job at BNP Paribas, which added to my experience.
I want to pursue a business career and football was just a hobby. However, my passion has developed and maybe that will develop into a career, too. I never thought football would bring me this far.
Some people thought it was weird for someone like me to be playing competitively. Now, I can show other girls what I have achieved – it’s who I am.