Teresia, aged 17, started playing football with neighbourhood boys at age 10 – an age where there were few other girls interested in the game. With a twin sister and an older sister already enrolled in secondary school, Teresia’s chances of attending secondary school were low as the cost of supporting three children in school was simply too much for a single mother. When Pastor George saw her playing football in a local competition, he met with her family and encouraged her to apply for a scholarship. She was awarded financial support and as a result, both she and her twin were able to attend secondary school.
During secondary school, Teresia divided her time between classwork and football, serving as the captain of her team. She was spotted by a scouting coach from the Kenya national U20s during a tournament and was encouraged to pursue a professional career. Teresia’s mother encouraged her daughter, but was steadfast that if she wanted to be a professional athlete, she would need an education to fall back on. Women’s football is not highly regarded in Kenya and the organisation still struggles to secure sponsorships that will pay the athletes’ salaries. Despite the difficulties that may lie ahead, Teresia is driven to make the most of her opportunity. She currently plays midfield for the Mathare United Women’s team and was recently hand-selected by MYSA (Mathare Youth Sports Association) to represent Kenya at the World Cup in an international youth tournament called Football for Hope Festival 2018, sponsored by FIFA. Her experience traveling to Russia, pursuing fair play and competing with other players from across Africa has inspired her to work harder and pursue more international exposure. While her chosen path may not always be easy, Teresia says she is motivated by her fans and support network who help keep her focused. Watch this space as we follow this young star’s journey!