KARACHI: A rising star in Pakistan Squash sports Noorena Shams hails from Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Noorena Shams the 21 year old emerging star was invited by the United Nation Headquarter to speak on women rights in 2017.
“My goals are so big that they sometimes scare me when I think of them,” “My aim is to go as high as I can in squash.”
But squash is not an end to her aspiration. Besides rackets and courts, Shams also has interest in automobiles.
“I have a dream of becoming a Formula One car racer and an automobile engineer,” she said. “Thinking about achieving all these goals sometimes gives me with sleepless nights.”
She has grown up without a father in Timergara, an area in Lower Dir district, which was no less affected by terrorism and the subsequent war to eradicate the menace.
“I was repeatedly told I could only succeed if I studied hard and do what this society wanted me to do,” she said. “As an 11-year-old I could only open my books and do nothing else.”
But then, her area was hit by war closing down schools and confining locals to their houses.
She was sent to Peshawar for further studies but before that Shams played cricket with her brothers and security personnel in the area, which motivated her once again to pursue sports.
“I was sent to Peshawar for my education, as passionate as I could have been, I joined an all-boys cricket academy where I at first was told that I could not be as good as boys until I proved myself,” she recalled.
It has been three years since then, Noorena has got herself recognized and a place in Women Squash Ranking and has had the honour to be the first-ever female sportsperson from Malakand Division in the past century. “I have represented Pakistan at every possible international event I could have.”
“What always encourages me to pick sports over everything is that it gives me the unstoppable energy, which I never get when I am doing something else,” Shams said. “It gives me the confidence to be myself. It is that intense desire that I never had. It is the passion that speaks for me wherever I go. I can pick sports a thousand times over everything.”
But, she still feels a lot is still needed to be done, at least for female athletes of country.
She feels that opportunities for female aren’t as equal as they are for male athletes in Pakistan.
“I want to make sure that the problems I have faced or worst problems that many athletes face now will not exist in future,” she stated when asked about her dreams.