Emerging footballer, Amina Hanif is breaking barriers and defying expectations as she represents both Chesham United in the National League and the Pakistan team.
Born into a British-Pakistani family, Amina Hanif has faced unique challenges right from the beginning of her footballing journey, including playing while wearing a hijab.
However, Amina Hanif has embraced her differences and now proudly wears the headscarf during games, aiming to inspire young girls who may feel out of place in the sport.
“After a while, something just clicked, and I stopped caring about pretty much everything. It feels really good when nothing affects you,” the 22-year-old said.
Reflecting on her own experiences, Amina Hanif highlights the lack of representation for ethnic minorities in the game of football, but she sees progress being made recently.
Amina recalls her trials at Watford years back, where she was the only person of color present, navigating a homogeneous environment that initially felt isolating and daunting.
However, she notes that there are now more black and Asian players in lower divisions, and the inclusion of Asians in academies is providing greater opportunities for aspiring players.
The star footballer now hopes that her success with the national team will help create a better infrastructure and scouting system to identify talented players in the country.
While some family members initially questioned her involvement in the sport, their support has grown over time, and her success has earned respect for the entire family.
Amina recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in sports and believes that increasing representation will provide more opportunities for girls to reach the highest levels.