Foreign Language Saturday – ‘When it Comes to building girls up, there’s no bigger building block than girls’ football’

Before Asisat Oshoala, soccer wasn’t something from my life at all. “How can you be a footballer?” people would ask. Not me — it came naturally. I grew up in a loving family. When…

Foreign Language Saturday – ‘When it Comes to building girls up, there’s no bigger building block than girls’ football’

Before Asisat Oshoala, soccer wasn’t something from my life at all. “How can you be a footballer?” people would ask. Not me — it came naturally. I grew up in a loving family. When I was young my grandmother would pick me up from school because the bus would break down and we would then play until dark. We would go into different neighbourhoods with wooden sticks, built with hammers and nails. We would hit the walls, doors and whatever was in sight — they just asked for a ball. There was no computer, TV or PlayStation. We would play football until evening, going home, having dinner and then playing again. We never pushed her. She just loved it. Football gave me joy. I loved every minute. To this day I don’t know why I wanted to play this beautiful game. There was a barrier that I believed existed between me and the rest of the world. But no one in my family told me I couldn’t play football. I was never shy. Football gave me the confidence to go out and be myself. When I was young, I could make people laugh and make them smile. It didn’t matter what sport we played — soccer, volleyball, basketball — we played it as a team and played as one. I don’t think there was any social discrimination.

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