Ten-year old Henna Luvenivaturavula is aiming to become a professional football in years to come and represent Fiji Women’s team at a FIFA World Cup.
Speaking to Fiji FA media while participating in the Mom & Pop League on Saturday in Nausori, Henna said she was happy such program was organized by Fiji FA.
“I am very happy to be here today (Saturday) to play football which I love very much and I thank Fiji FA for bringing this program here in Rewa,”Henna said.
The Dilkusha Methodist School student said her aim was to become a professional player.
“I love football very much and my dream is to become a professional player and play for my country in the FIFA World Cup and this program is showing me right direction to achieve my goal.
Henna is the daughter of former Fiji, Rewa, Navua and Suva defender Samuela Vula and she is inspired by her dad to play football.
“My dad used to say, ‘Listen. God gave to you the gift to play football. This is your gift from God. If you take care of your health, if you are in good shape all the time, with your gift from God no one will stop you, but you must be prepared and this what is always in mind to become a football player,” she said.
“My dad is currently on a peacekeeping duty but when he is with me we used to play football and he teaches me how to kick and play football and today I am here to show what my dad has taught me,”
Henna said she wanted to achieve more than her dad.
“My dad played for Fiji and but never played in the FIFA World Cup because they didn’t had this opportunity to develop their talents than but now since we are given chance I am sure I will beat my father playing in the FIFA World Cup.
Decrying the discrimination against women in football, Henna disagrees with people who claim that football needs strength that only men possess: “If they watch women playing football, they will find them as strong as men in their style,” she argues.
Encouraged by her parents to pursue her dream as a football player, Henna say she will love to see more girls coming up into this progam.
“Every human being deserves respect, and sports are great to teach lots of life lessons, “Henna understands.
Football is not very popular game in Fiji because of rugby, but people’s interest may be focused on men’s football competition”
“Even so interest in developing women’s football has been rising recently because I have seen more girls taking up football now,”
As for Henna, she says it never crossed her mind that football wasn’t for girls.