Pakistan’s first ever female rock climber, Nazia Parveen is all set to conquer the heights. This 27 year old high achieving sportsperson hails from Bajour Agency, FATA.
Parveen believes that anything is possible if one is passionate about it. She started rock climbing as a career in 2010. From then, she has set unbeatable records till date. Being the winner of 32 consecutive rock climbing competitions, she is looking forward to take Pakistani female athletics to another level.
An MPhil in International Relations from National Defence University Islamabad, Nazia Parveen recently shared her struggles and views in an interview. Let’s hear it from her.
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Growing Up as a Girl
Parveen says that it is a male dominant society and growing up as a girl comes with its own set of challenges. In an area especially like FATA where people don’t allow women to go outdoors, being a part of an extreme outdoor sport was a real struggle.
She said that she faced severe resistance initially, even from her family. But when you have a target in mind and passion to achieve it, nothing can stop you.
Aimer Amir, Another girl who made us proud through her exceptional skills. She is the first female pilot from Skardu.
Parveen said, the same people who criticized me in the beginning are the ones appreciating me now.
Hurdles and Discouragements
There are a number of times you feel demotivated. Parveen admits she also had such times during her career.
She says that it’s not about losing a game. What discourages you is when people around starts creating hurdles. It’s about people who have an authority. Since sports are not taken as an industry here in Pakistan, we athletes have to face a lot many problems, especially female athletes.
Sports as an Industry
Parveen considers that sports itself is an industry.
She thinks that Pakistani females are quite talented. All they need is the right opportunity.
The government should encourage female athletes by providing training sessions, female sports clubs and arranging national level competitions.
She added that we have a potential to represent Pakistan internationally. Pakistani female athletes need a representation.
Nazia Parveen – The Rock Climbing Trainer
Nazia says as a trainer I see a lot of potential in the young girls. Initially the trainees are hesitant but once they start climbing, I can see them going a long way.
The only issue they face is the lack of moral support from their families especially the male members. This makes them suffer.
In our culture, parents want a secure environment for their daughters. If we make such arrangements that dictate their ideal environment, there would be no concerns. For the matter, we take the trainees to family picnic spots for climbing.
Nazia wants to promote paragliding and rock climbing in Pakistan. She wants a strong team of female athletes to represent Pakistan internationally.
Nazia is determined to change the image of Pakistani women as being oppressed. She ensures that women here are strong and capable of doing wonders.
Message to Fellow Pakistani Females
The strong willed Nazia Parveen wants women of Pakistan to recognize their capabilities and work towards their true potential. She wants them to follow their heart as this is the only life they’ll get!