Kuwaiti female shooter Afrah dreams of Olympic glory
In an interview with Kuwait Times, Afrah Adel bin Hussein spoke about the challenges she faces as a shotgun shooter. Afrah is an accomplished shotgun shooter, who started at a young age. She belongs to a family who loves this sport. Her brother Mohammad is also an accomplished shooter in the 50-meter rifle category and her mother is a well-established referee at the shooting club. Afrah tried many sports before settling as a shotgun shooter.
Some excerpts: Kuwait Times: Why, in your opinion, is shooting the most successful sport in Kuwait?
Afrah: There are three reasons - firstly, shotgun shooters are Olympic champions and have proved their competence in international arenas; secondly, the technical management and ranges are of high standard and we may not find something like it in the Middle East; the third and most important reason is that the honorable President of KSSC Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah has worked hard to make this possible. We also cannot forget HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s support for athletes.
KT: How did Kuwait make it to the top in Asia and the world?
Afrah: As a shooter among Olympic and world champions, I was instilled with the spirit of challenge and competition from an early age. Olympians Fuhaid Al-Deehani and Abdullah Al-Rashidi, have been pillars of inspiration to reach the world level with determination, patience and training.
KT: Has the suspension of Kuwaiti sports activities affected you?
Afrah: Of course, I was affected like all other athletes, morally as well as psychologically. I hope this nightmare ends and Kuwait’s athletes return to international arenas once again, as there is nothing sadder than seeing our champions deprived of hoisting Kuwait’s flag at international events.
KT: How and why did you choose this sport?
Afrah: I started from the third division of the national team, then with firm training, I became a member of the first team, which made me realize that shooting is an important part of my life, and I chose it because it was said to be a difficult sport for women, and this challenged me to create a distinguished name in this sport. My ambition increases day by day. My parents supported and encouraged me to continue, and go ahead and reach new levels. I am part of a family that loves shooting as a sport. My mother, being an international shooting referee, is a major motivation for me and she has always supported me technically and morally.
KT: Does practicing sports impact school,
family or traditions, as it requires traveling to participate in tournaments?
Afrah: No, on the contrary, I feel practicing sports isn’t against our society, as I was raised in a sports environment that encouraged me locally and abroad.
KT: Is your motivation to reach higher based on material incentives?
Afrah: For sure, material elements are very important and are considered a motivation for an athlete, and this is not only limited to shooters but athletes in general. But the moral motive is very important for an athlete, because psychological and mental comforts are the shortest roads towards success. I don’t mind participating in tournaments that do not give financial rewards, because shooting for me is a joy, and my participation is not only for the sake of money. KT: Will Kuwaiti women shooters win Olympic medals in the future?
Afrah: Definitely. Determination and hard work is important to win at the Olympics or any medals regardless of gender.
KT: What is your main goal?
Afrah: I want to win the world championships, and I am looking forward to participate in the Olympics and become the first Kuwaiti woman to win an Olympic medal. This is my dream and I hope to achieve it one day.
KT: Tell us about your best and worst experiences.
Afrah: The best was when I won the Sixth Asian Shooting Tournament 2016 that was held in Abu Dhabi, and became the Asian champion. I have also won Arab, Gulf and Kuwait championships. I have faced no bad experiences yet.
Afrah gave special thanks to Sheikh Salman, the godfather of shooting in Kuwait, who has worked on developing the sport and taking it to the top levels globally.