In the third week of our Building Each Other Up Series, we are celebrating, Naomi, another wonderful participant and coach from our mission partner, Moving The Goalposts (MTG).
Naomi Yaa Baya, 15
What is your earliest memory of soccer?
My earliest memory was when I joined Moving The Goalposts (MTG) and participated in one of the school matches, where I managed to score four goals and the whole crowd erupted with wild cheers. This also has to be one of my fondest memories in football.
What is your current role in soccer (teammate, coach, or both)?
I am a coach as well as a player.
How do you position yourself in that role to be a role model for those in your community?
Using myself as an example, it’s been easier for me to encourage other girls that it is possible to perform well in class as well as on the field. I believe that every girl can find the right balance between sports and education and succeed in both.
Who/what is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my family. My parents and elder brothers always motivate me to practice and be the best footballer I can be. My friend and fellow coach, Nelly Kache, also inspires me because of her great football skills. I aspire to be like her.
What is something about yourself that you’re proud of, and that you use as a way to set a positive example for others? (i.e. what is your superpower?)
I am a good listener and I like to lend a hand whenever I can.
Can you tell me about a time that you’ve used that superpower/quality to build up and inspire the girls around you, on or off the field?
I once helped a friend in school, who was in distress because of a boy that was threatening her. She confided in me and I advised her to take the matter to the teacher for assistance. The case was later resolved and the boy was held accountable.
Tell me about a teammate that has helped strengthen you to the person you are today. Are they older or younger than you? What is it about them that inspires you?
My friend Tatu, who is older than me, really took her time to teach me about football and all the skills required to make me become the best footballer. She also taught me how to read the game and play football smartly.
What is your best piece of advice for girls of any age?
I would urge all girls to adhere to feminists’ values such as cooperation, respect, caring, nurturance, interconnection, justice, equity, honesty, sensitivity, perceptiveness, intuition, altruism, fairness, morality, and commitment.
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