2020 SheFootball Conference – Ayisat Yusuf Keen To Empower Women Through Football.

They say, Learning from an elders experience usually leads to success for young lads. That’s the case of upcoming female footballers and Sport personalities who were at the National stadium Surulere for the third edition of the Shefootball conference held on Wednesday.

The events which was hosted by Ex Super Falcons player Ayisat Yusuf Aromire saw Nigerian female sport legends share their experiences to motivate and encourage young female footballers to work hard to achieve their goals.

Former Falcons player and Atlanta 1996 female long jump gold medalist Chioma Ajunwa appreciated the host Ayisat Yusuf Aromire for the good initiative as she never had such opportunity in her days.

“We never had this opportunity during our time as footballers. I want to thank and appreciate Ayisat Yusuf Aromire for this innovation. If I can achieve in this sports and beyond, then you can do better. I won Gold for Nigeria at the Olympics because I was hardworking and dedicated to what I do. Victory begins when you start believing you can do it. You have to believe in yourselves.”

It is usually said that female career lovers tend to focus on career and neglect marital life but that’s not the case of Abia Angels coach, former Super Falcons goalkeeper Ann Chiejine and Player Vera Okolo. They advised female footballers to marry early and not allow their career delay their marriage as it helps leave better life in the future.

“I got married at the age of 18 but was discouraged by my teammates, who thought I wouldn’t be able to hangout with them again. My first daughter is 24 and now I don’t have any regrets. I urge women footballers to get married in time.” Ann Said

I got pregnant at the age of 18 and was asked to leave the Falconets Camp because I already had a baby, but today, my daughter is a graduate from the Obafemi Awolowo University and just finished her compulsory one year National Youth Service. I have no regrets at all.” Vera Okolo said.

Founder of LadiesInSports Tega Onojaife, Founder of SheCanNigeria Ezinne Ezeani and Diana Ashak also advised female footballers present at the conference to combine education with their football career.

“Football is not just about scoring goals, but what you do outside the pitch. Education is key in women’s football.” Tega said.

” Women’s Football is all about making positive impact in the society. There is dignity and honour in everything you do as a woman, no doubt education is key.” Ezinne emphasized.

” Combining Education with football was a choice I took on my own. I decided to take the decision because of my future and am happy I did.” Diana concluded

2019 was a breakthrough year for women football with France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup breaking hitherto records in goals and match viewership as Nigeria and Cameroon became the first African duo to make it to the Round of 16 of the World Cup.

African countries have not been able to make it to the semi final of the world cup but the First Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi was of the view that Super Falcons can easily win the World Cup ahead of their Super Eagles counterpart due to their immense success in Africa.

” Its easier for us to win the World Cup with the Super Falcons than with the Super Eagles”.

SheFootball Conference is one of the products of the Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire foundation which was set up to primarily empower women. The focus of the foundation is to promote female footballers through social empowerment and skills acquisition.

Ayisat played for the Super Falcons from 2000 to 2009 and retired in early 2010. She is happily married with kids and is involved in many advocacy programs for women football in Finland.

By: Hanifat Mustapha

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