Squash is a sport which is dominated by men in Pakistan. However, Noreena Shams from Malakand thinks nothing can stop her from achieving her dream.
Shams trained for the sport at an all-boys camp, where she had to dress up as a boy to fit in. “It was the coach’s idea, but I never felt I was different or inferior to the boys,” she said on SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din on Friday.
“I wish more girls could play sports,” she said, adding that gender doesn’t matter if you have the right talent.
After one year of training, she had to reveal her identity to the group. “I told the guys in a comical way because it was becoming difficult to hide that I am girl at a point,” she said.
“They supported me, but were shocked to see my strength and speed,” she remarked.
Shams said her favorite memory was when she made her team win in Mardan.
Her family’s support also motivates her to work harder. “I am what I am with my family’s support. My sleeping routine and diet is also taken care of and my family doesn’t get affected by my relatives’ negative remarks about my career,” she added.