With an ever-increasing globalised world, men’s football has largely been able to receive more attention than ever. Today coverage of men’s football has extended even to the most remote parts of the globe leading the masses to have an entrenched belief that only males play the sport professionally.
Significantly this poses a grave problem for female footballers who are mostly unnoticeable and do not get the same amount of coverage like their male counterparts. Any female footballer would narrate the challenges they face in just wanting to play the sport. Age-old stereotypes, lack of funding and being unappreciated for their talents are some of the obstacles they face.
Indeed female footballers have it tougher but for these unheralded heroes it allows them to be greater inspirational figures. For Singapore’s woman national team players, Suria Priya and Nur Emiliya Natasha rising above challenges in the sport is a norm.
Although Suria and Emiliya acknowledge the difficulties, they have never thought about quitting because their love for the game tends to overcome all the negativity. Additionally for Suria she hopes to stay in football even after she finishes her career as a player by being a physiotherapist.
Expanding on her post-playing career choice, Suria mentioned how there were a lack of qualified physiotherapists in women’s football, by citing her own experience of not receiving proper medical attention when she suffered a bad injury.
On the other hand Emiliya hopes to give to back to women’s football here in Singapore by helping realise the dream of the future generation of girls who, dream of donning the national jersey. A jersey she and Suria take massive pride in.
Staying on the topic of the national jersey, the latest design by Nike had them in full praise. Nike took inspiration from the mythical creature known as the Merlion – a half lion, half fish – which became the Republic’s national symbol in 1964. Its scales inspired the gym red graphic across the chest for the home kit
Alternatively the Equator Blue body and Nebula Blue sleeves and shoulders of the away kit are inspired by the soaring skyscrapers that reflect the Oceans water at night to become something dazzling.
For Suria and Emiliya, having the nation’s folklore stitched onto the national jersey only adds further importance and inspiration in representing Singapore. Though playing for one’s country can be a heavy responsibility, there is no doubt that Suria and Emiliya will take it in their stride for these are players who live for such moments; moments that can inspire the next generation.