US Embassy’s public affairs section hosted the event at the American Center Library, which included the film screening of “Alex & Me” to support “Step In, Dream Big” campaign to encourage girls to step into their potential and realize their dreams
Sports provide women not only physical and mental strength, along with confidence, but also a way to become self-dependent in order to break the social barriers to live a better and healthy life, discussed the speakers at a panel discussion on Women’s Empowerment through Sports in Dhaka Thursday.
US Embassy’s public affairs section hosted the event at the American Center Library, which included the film screening of “Alex & Me” to support “Step In, Dream Big” campaign to encourage girls to step into their potential and realize their dreams.
Around 50 female students and players from different schools, clubs and organizations took part.
Former national cricket team player Shathira Jakir Jessy and former national basketball captain Ashreen Mridha were the two speakers during the panel discussion.
Both have already acquired themselves in the global platform as well.
Jessy recently become the first female commentator from Bangladesh to commentate in international matches on Star Sports during the World Cup 2019, while Ashreen became the first Bangladeshi basketball player to join the Global Sports Mentoring Program, funded by ESPN and the United States, last year.
“Sports help women on their temperament,” said, Jessy, a BKSP alumni who took his first sports lessons in shooting discipline and later turned to cricket to join the national team in 2007.
“The most important thing is that it makes girls more self-dependent and stronger. Here we used to think that the girls can’t go outside of his own or return home after the evening because they are not safe, but when one gets involved with sports it gives them the confidence to do her things alone,” she added.
Ashreen, who joined the national basketball team in 2009, said, “Sports gives women strength, both physically and mentally. It gives confidence. Those involved with sports have naturally the capability to deal with failure. During games, you win or lose, this experience helps people to become stronger and deal with difficult situations.
“We meet many people from diverse culture and background through sports which expands our mindset. It opens our eyes and we see the world through bigger lens. The more we will be outgoing the more we will know people and use this experience in our life.”
Ashreen and Gulnahar Mahbub Monika are the co-founders of Deshi Ballers, a voluntary initiative that began its journey last year with an aim to empower women of all ages through sports.
Both run and coach basketball training camp for young girls.
Monika also joined the discussion outside the main event.
“Depression is common phenomenon in our generation. Sports can also help one to tackle depression easily. Playing sports for long time builds sisterhood and reduce depression a lot. We have no way to reduce stress and have lack of source for recreation, but sports,” said Monika, who has been in the national team since 2016.