It’s not about breaking records, scoring goals. It’s about why I do it: Hajra Khan

Pakistan women’s captain says she aims to inspire the next generation of girls to come out and play without worrying about inequality

By Maha Ali

KARACHI: Pakistani women’s football team captain Hajra Khan has in the past year achieved three football-related Guinness world records. These achievements have gotten the young footballer a lot of international attention. She has been acclaimed to be a rising athlete by playing for Equal Playing Field (EPL), which is an initiative to provide women with the opportunities to celebrate the sport.

Read: 8 powerful quotes by Pakistani women

Hajra spoke of her experiences as a female footballer and the need to inspire equality for women in sports. She told Dawn Images in an interview that she wants to get a message across with her achievements as she said, “It is an honour to represent Pakistan amongst 50+ countries at this event. But the message I aim to send out with these world records and achievements is far deeper – it is to get the next generation of girls to come out and play without any hesitance and resistance where they will not have to worry about their rights or inequality”.

The 25-year old captain has made Pakistan proud by scoring two goals and this year in France, set two more world records. She has remained firm on her intentions for participating in the EPL by suggesting, “It’s not about breaking world records and scoring goals. It’s about why I do it.”

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The previous world record was held by a match that involved 30 nationalities. This year, she managed to play in an inclusive match whereby over 51 nationalities participated, making it 3 Guinness world records in total for the Pakistani player. This year she also participated in the world’s longest football match that lasted for three and a half hours consecutively in which she amazingly scored 4 goals by herself.

We hope female athletes receive the same amount of opportunities and attention as the men do. Leading by example, Hajra aims to motivate more women to take part in sports and receive the attention that she has in order to make a difference.

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