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Women's Football

Nabwire: Football was my stepping stone to a better life

  • Doreen Nabwire was born in the slums of Nairobi
  • Her football journey took her to the national team, and Germany
  • She is now leading the development of Kenyan women’s football

It’s November 2019 and cold in Zurich. It feels a long way from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. For Doreen Nabwire, though, there’s no sense of shock. That’s because, ten years ago, her football talent led to her making a very similar journey.

Doreen is one of the 24 women from FIFA’s 211 member associations who graduated last month from the FIFA-UEFA Women in Football Leadership Programme.

Led by coaches from the IMD Business School, the week-long course aimed to challenge and support its participants’ personal leadership skills, create a network with female industry peers and ultimately empower the participants to assume leadership positions within their national associations or regional confederations.

While the number of women in football has mushroomed in recent years, and the growth and popularity of women’s football has exploded, there are still many barriers and challenges to overcome. For Doreen, whose life has been one challenge after another, that is nothing new.

She was playing in an international football tournament at just 12, and within three years was representing her country. Then, while still a teenager, she starred at a street football tournament in Berlin and became the subject of a TV documentary. Three years later, she successfully trialled for Werder Bremen and ended up finishing as the club’s top scorer, sparking a four-year sojourn in Europe.

Her devotion to football has continued to evolve in the time since: firstly as a coach in her native country, working with NGOs and a Premier League team, and then in an administrative role at the Kenya Football Federation.

Doreen’s journey is not your average tale. In this video, she narrates her inspirational story in her own words.

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