This Talented Female Squash Player From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shared Details About Her Journey And It's Truly Inspiring

By Mehwish A. W. | 25 May, 2019

Noorena Shams, a multi-talented powerhouse, and renowned squash player from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, recently shared the story of her journey of becoming a sportswoman and thanked all those who supported her in a heartfelt note.

Noorena has been representing the country at many international sporting forums with the distinction of being the first female athlete from Pakistan to have spoken at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations about issues of harassment in sports. However, all this fame hasn’t come easy to her and she has struggled a lot for it.

Noorena Shams
Source: Noorena Shams/Twitter

The 22-year-old shares that she was not just the first one in her family to play any sport at a professional level but also the first ever female in the entire division (which includes three districts altogether). This made the journey far more difficult for her.

Noorena had an interest in sports ever since she was a child. She started cycling at the age of 10 and would go with her younger brother to cycle for hours. She said that growing up as a student-athlete, it was really difficult initially to convince her teachers, coaches, and those around her to understand her love for sports and how she considered it not just a hobby but a profession.

She also got those typical questions and comments during her journey such as, ‘How far do you think you will make it? or ‘You will have to get married at some point’. But, her high spirits did not waver and she overcame all those hurdles with determination.

Her father, who was her support system, passed away suddenly, and after that, she also gave up sports to focus on studies. Bomb blasts were, unfortunately, a common occurrence in Lower Dir, where Noorena hails from, and her school was also bombed. As a result, she had to discontinue her education for the time being. Later, she came to Peshawar to complete her studies and kept alive her interest in sports by participating in one championship or the other, whenever she got a chance.

Noorena Shams
Source: Dawn.com

Along this journey, later on, she got a decent amount of support from all those around her, for which she remains eternally grateful.

She thanked her coaches for understanding the importance of studies for her, and she thanked her teachers for not taunting her for her grades because of her focus on sports. She also thanked her school for recognizing her efforts always and for celebrating her achievements. Gratitude was also extended by Noorena to people who lent her money for her gears and sponsored her without questioning her performance.

Her tweet also included a thank you to her friends for accompanying her to her early morning jogs, for helping her out with her missed classes and assignments, and for motivating her whenever she felt she would fail. She also mentions her friends’ parents and thanked them for accepting her even though she was different from their kids.

Source: Dawn.com

Finally, she thanked her brothers and male cousins for supporting her. She appreciates her younger brothers for standing up against the patriarchy-driven comments they heard because of her and her male cousins for feeling proud of her achievements and bringing those newspapers home that had her name and achievements mentioned.

Noorena ends it all with a really powerful statement:

Clearly, Noorena is an extremely gifted girl, full of drive and confidence to live her life to the absolute fullest and we applaud her for her strength. She’s someone we can all learn a thing or two from, and for all the girls who wish to pursue a career in sports, she is truly an inspiration.

 

 

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Cover Image Via Dawn.com

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