Shaima Abdullah: flying the flag for women’s football in Qatar
Qatar’s national team goalkeeper combines football with her studies and working as a coach for the social development programme ‘Generation Amazing’.
Goalkeeper Shaima Abdullah has become the standard bearer for women’s football in Qatar and apart from her commitments guarding the net for the national team, she is also a valuable member of the Generation Amazing initiative. Generation Amazing is a social development programme helping young people through football which was set up several years ago and is now established in Qatar and many other countries. Xavi Hernández is one of the project’s ambassadors.
A love of the Beautiful Game
At 25, Shaima is passionate about practicing the sport she loves and that dedication has led her to become one of the most important figures in the history of women’s football in Qatar. She explained, “I started playing football in school when I was six years old. I loved playing basketball, handball and football but later on, I decided to stick with football. I was selected for the school team and that led me to represent Qatar at international level as the team’s goalkeeper”.
Shaima doesn’t dedicate her time exclusively to football – she has other commitments such as Generation Amazing, for which she draws on other skills. “I am studying Economics, Marketing and Business Administration at Qatar University. On top of that, I am also doing a coaching diploma course and I work as a specialist for Generation Amazing in schools all over the country. So my time is divided between the university and teaching children through football”.
Like her fellow Qataris, Shaima’s big dream is to be able to represent her country at a major tournament one day: “My dream is to play for Qatar at the Women’s World Cup and in the Women’s Asia Cup. Later on I’d like to become a goalkeeping coach. I would like to be the first Qatari woman to undertake that role for our national team”, said Shaima, who vows to keep working hard every day to make those dreams happen.