HUMANS OF AISTS
MAS2021 | Ep11 | Yasmeen Shabsough
“You Only Live Once”
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved football. I grew up in a loving family, and like any other family, it was a must to watch a soccer game after dinner. At home, sports in general and football in particular were always on TV. Even at school I always played with the boys, pushing them, and fighting for the ball, so they took me seriously. At the age of 13, I joined a girls’ club, and at 15 I was called to join the national team; everything started from there!
As much as I was passionate about football, yet I wanted to keep it as a side hobby, so I studied marketing and graduated with honours as “first in class.” I held the diploma in my hand and was ready to conquer the world of marketing. But just before that, in 2016, Jordan won the bid to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. I thought to myself, it can’t be that this event is coming to Jordan, and I am not part of it. So, I joined the LOC and we delivered the first ever mega event for women’s football in the Middle East. This experience made me think again and reconsider the field of work I want to pursue my career in.
A few months later, I was introduced to the concept of Sport for Development which I immediately embraced. The idea of using sport as a driver for self and community development was something I had faced myself and I knew exactly that it was what I wanted to do. I spent three years working with GIZ Sport for Development, helping my community grow and empowering youth to unleash their potential. During those years, I have always volunteered in my spare time with organisations and events that advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in sport. With Equal Playing Field, I broke 4 Guinness World Records playing football in the craziest places, gave a TED Talk, spoke to school kids, and became The Maiden Factor Ambassador.
In February 2020, Jordan hosted the Tokyo 2020 Boxing qualifiers for Asia/Oceania. I was part of the LOC, being on the field of play again and working with an extensive team from different stakeholders who all joined forces to deliver a successful event, made me eager to expand my knowledge, learn, and expose myself to the broader picture of the sports world. There was no better way to accomplish that than to apply to AISTS, pack my bags and come to Switzerland. What made AISTS attractive for me is the strong, broad network it has with major sports institutes and the hands-on knowledge you get from experts in the field, plus the support it offers athletes through its AISTS Athlete Scholarship, which was granted to me.
Finally, my parents instilled in me the importance of doing what I am passionate about and working in a sector where I will not look back in 50 years and regret wasting my time and efforts on something I didn’t enjoy. Therefore, you only live once and if you do it right, once is enough.
*Credits for the Humans of AISTS go to MAS 2021 Aditya Narayan and Gabor Zippenfenig for coordination and photography!