Kuwaiti fe­male shooter Afrah dreams of Olympic glory

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Ab­del­latif Al-Sharaa

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.

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