IOC Women and Sport Forum - Focus on Afghanistan
20 Nov 2013
Kuwait:As the IOC Women and Sport Forum for Africa and Asia continues in Kuwait, the OCA Media Department talks to Samira Asghari, 19, from Afghanistan - one of 45 National Olympic Committees belonging to the OCA.
I was elected as Afghanistan NOC Finance Director in December 2012 when I was only 17. I love sport and I believe sport can empower women in Afghanistan. I first practised sport when I was nine years old and I was chosen for the Afghanistan women's national basketball team when I was 17. I represented my country for the first time in an overseas tournament in December 2012 in Tajikistan and I’m very proud of it.
WHY LOVE SPORT?
Girls feel safe and relaxed as soon as we enter the court and touch the basketball. We are happy, and full of joy.
In Afghanistan there are many problems to stop women participating and working in sport. Men often complain that we - being female or a female athlete - don't make them "look good", especially family members and relatives. However, my family is different. They fully support me to participate in sport, as well as my NOC president. They always tell me and encourage me to work for sport so that I can open doors for other girls in my country.
This IOC Women and Sport Forum for Africa and Asia is really bringing everyone together. I have been learning a lot in the last two days. It offers such a great opportunity for us to not only share experiences together but also help and advise each other so that we can improve women and sport in our NOC.
I’m a university student studying Politics, Science and International Relations. I was a member of Afghanistan NOC International Relations Department before I was elected Finance Director. I’m a student and basketball player now, but if one day I become minister or prime minister of my country I can help more girls and women to take part in sport and empower themselves. At that time, I can proudly say, before I became a politician I was a national team basketball player and I worked for the Olympic movement. I’m very proud of that.