KOZHIKODE: Everyone knows that Malabar is football crazy. But little is known about the soccer frenzy of women here.
Hadiya Hakeem, a Plus II student at Chendamangallur Higher Secondary School near Mukkam proves that women folks are no lesser die-hard football fans.
The video of her freestyle football (the art of juggling a football using any parts of the body) at a school ground has gone viral and the girl is now flooded with invites for inaugurating football tourneys.
On January 7, Hadiya approached the school authorities to display her freestyle skills during the ongoing annual soccer tournament.
The school management and teacher gave the nod and they were stunned by the skills of the 17-year-old girl.
“I was keen to play football but there’s no opportunity for girls here. There is not even a girl’s football team here. So, I wished to make use of the interval of the tournament and exhibit my skill,” says Hadiya.
The girl juggled the ball between her two-foot and in the air without allowing the ball to touch the ground. Hadiya’s talents and courage to go for it has encouraged many other girls.
“She has given goosebumps to all of us. Hadiya is a big motivation for not only students but also teachers,” said Saleem N K, Hadiya’s teacher.
Skill that sprouted in Qatar
Since childhood, Hadiya was interested in football. She learned the skills watching her brothers playing the game. She was in Qatar then and developed a bonhomie with the ball. She was a player at her school in Qatar till Class X after which her family shifted to their home place Chendamangallur.
After leaving the Gulf country, Hadiya found that she had no opportunities here to pursue her sporting dreams.
“Our school too does not have a football team for girls. But I never stopped my bonding with the ball as I practised freestyle indoors,” she says.
She is now getting invites from several tournaments in Malabar to inaugurate and display her skills. Her father Abdul Hakeem is a former football player.
“Mohammed Salah and Christiano Ronaldo are my heroes. Team-wise, Brazil and club-wise Real Madrid are my favourites,” she chuckles.