BEIRUT: A young referee has become a trailblazer for supporting women in sports as part of the 2022 World Cup.
Twenty-year-old Rayan Mamlouk was recruited by Qatar, which is hosting the upcoming World Cup, to work on football projects across the country.
The project titled Generation Amazing aims at getting more girls into sports as well as using football to bring together refugees.
Mamlouk is currently an officially affiliated Lebanese Football Association Referee for the women’s game. She also teaches football at a local school for boys and girls between 8 and 15 years old.
“The most important thing for me is to inspire young children and teach them life skills through football. This will help them contribute to positive change in their community,” Mamlouk said. “I see a lot of challenges for girls in sports. Through the Generation Amazing activities, we put in place rules that encourage inclusive behavior and acceptance of one another.”
Rayan started playing football in 2016. She later took a “train the trainer” course presented by the Norwegian Football Association and attended the Juventus Academy located in Naccache.
“Three years ago, I began playing football and immediately saw the potential this sport has to change the lives of others,” she added. “Last year I joined the American Near East Refugee Aid Organization and became a Generation Amazing youth ambassador. I work on bringing young people from different backgrounds together.”
She added that their work involves “changing the way people view the participation of girls in sports.”
Mamlouk believes football helps strengthen social cohesion, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and promote gender equality.
“Having the support of Generation Amazing has been invaluable for me,” she said. “It is an inspiration for us to be involved in a legacy program related to the World Cup, an event that we are all looking forward to as the first in the region,” Mamlouk said. “Generation Amazing allows me to network with like-minded individuals.”
Mamlouk is currently working to complete her degree in Physical Education at the Lebanese University.
“I dream of doing my doctorate and becoming a professor of physical education to help develop the importance and prestige of sport within society,” she said. “When I finish my education, I want to create a free academy for girls and boys.”
Welcome to “Naya,” the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations- Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.email@example.com
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