Soccer player Yasmeen Shabsough seeks to empower students in first athletic speaker series


Photo credit: Jared Williams

Jordanian soccer player, Yasmeen Shabsough, took the time to present to the Archer community over Zoom about her journey in professional sports and other ventures. The Athlete Leadership Council will continue to host female athletes to share their stories and journeys within often male-dominated sporting fields.

By Grace Doyle and Nyah Fernandez

Yasmeen Shabsough, a 24-year-old professional soccer player from Jordan, was the only female in her family growing up with all male siblings. Up until the age of 13, Shabsough only played soccer with her brothers, uncles and male classmates. Shabsough was also chosen to play on Jordan’s first U-14 Female National Team.

Shabsough’s accomplishments include setting four World Records, playing at the U-17 Women’s World Cup and playing at the International Olympic Committee’s Asia/Oceania Road to Tokyo 2020 Boxing Qualifiers.

Shabsough zoomed into a school assembly to talk to the Archer community on September 17 about her experience as a professional female athlete, moderated by members of the new Athlete Leadership Council. Starrlyn Brown, a senior member of the Athlete Leadership Council, was impressed by the applicability of Shabsough’s presentation.

“I think the presentation was really interesting,” Brown said “I just like the message she gave off, it can apply to any and everything, even outside of sports that applies to everyday life.”  

Shabsough told stories of her journey to becoming a professional athlete and the experiences she has gained because of her profession. Opportunities such as hiking Mount. Kilimanjaro to play the world’s highest elevated soccer game and working with children in rural Jordan stem from her passion for soccer.

“It’s not an easy thing to get out of your comfort zone,” Shabsough said. “It’s not an easy thing to say yes—normally it’s easier for you to say no to things than say yes.”

Junior Elle Croker, another member of the Athlete Leadership Council, helped moderate the presentation and was inspired by Shabsough’s point of view of female athlete involvement.

“Our goal is to implement ideas into the Archer athletics community and the speaker series,” Croker said. “Especially during the pandemic when we’re not able to play sports, we’re trying to keep the Archer Athletics community involved…we can still listen to all these amazing leaders and their stories.”

Growing up in an athletic world dominated by boys, Shabsough had to carve her own path to eventually achieve the multitude of her athletic victories.

“I think what she specifically brought to Archer is the message of girl power,” Brown said. “For her to still beat the gender norms, I think it’s really empowering to the Archer community, as they’re trying to teach us to defeat gender norms, become what we want to be and what we want to see in the world.”

Brown and Crocker said they felt empowered after Shabsough talked about the importance of female sports leadership.

“I’ve always had this question in my head: What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Shabsough said. “If you think about it, you have an opportunity in front of you either you win or you learn.”