Houriya Al Taheri is working on growing the game of football for female players in the region.
The former goalkeeper for the UAE women's national team, Al Taheri has transitioned her love of the game from player to coach. In the final instalment of Nike’s Dream Crazier series, she tells of her own journey to inspire others.
“Don’t be afraid to fail, you will learn many skills – life skills which will help you become the strongest person,” she begins in the newly released video.
Al Taheri was scouted at age 17 and her playing career highlights include helping lead the women’s national team to victory in 2010 and 2011 at the Women’s West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Championship.
She also made history as the first Arab female Fifa coach. She led the UAE national team to defeat Iraq in 2017 for the country’s first victory in a Women’s World Cup qualifier. As she’s learnt herself, the only way the game can grow is through promoting and giving a chance to others.
“Helping the new generation, this is important. Giving opportunity, helping people grow. Let them believe in themselves,” she adds in the video.
Her efforts have had an impact on the development of the game in the country as there are now eight clubs in the first league in addition to a Women’s under 14 and under 16 leagues to help nurture younger talent.
“We are raising a generation of women who love football who are the champions of the UAE and who one day, with a lot of hard work and dedication become champions of the world. The doors are open for anyone to chase this dream and we are entering it with vigour. We are here to stay,” she says.
As far as her own dreams, she has big aspirations as well.
“To be the first UAE woman to own a football club and inspire female athletes to achieve their dreams,” she says.