Trina shares sporting journey

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Trina Davies with fans after a game in Suva. Picture: SUPPLIED

There was a time when soccer was the domain of men and boys. Girls and women were relegated to “girly” sports such as netball. However, the recent rapid rise of the Fijiana rugby teams changed all that.

And on the soccer field, girls like Trina Davis smashed all the barriers and societal “norms” of the kind of sports females should be engaged in.

At the age of 21, she has managed to make a name for herself in Fiji and the region.

Originally from Marysville, Washington, in the United States with maternal links to Lautoka, Trina realised she wanted to play sports from when she hit the age of seven.

“I saw my sister playing and thought it looked really fun and also because I loved the snacks at halftime,” she said.

“When I was 12 years old I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do when I grew up. I never wanted to stop playing soccer, so I made it a commitment.”

Luckily, she said she had the full support of her parents while growing up.

“My parents have always been supportive of me and what I’ve done. They’ve gone above and beyond to give me everything I needed to get me where I am today.

“Even when I hit a low point, they were always there to lift me up and did everything to get me back on my feet to play again. My mum would often remind me to never stop going for what I want and to go far and keep going.”

Last year, she finally joined her new club – Puerto Rico Sol FC – a Puerto Rican association football club based in Mayaguez.

The club is a member of the Liga Puerto Rico, the highest level of football in the country. She said there had been a number of challenges she has faced to get to where she is in life.

“I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus in 2018 before the OFC cup and I played that whole tournament injured.

“I don’t regret it because we made history and I made some of the best memories in my life.

“It was challenging for me after the surgery because I didn’t get to play for two years. I had to learn how to walk again, hear about soccer and watch games and that was hard because I always want to be out there.” The young lass said every athlete has faced those types of challenges once in their life.

“For every athlete going through a surgery or injury affects your mental health but being able to know you’ll be stronger and to just never give up keeps me going.

“I never want to stop playing soccer and I want to continue making a change. Life is hard but you have to know God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers, so I keep going.”

She said women’s sports in the Pacific has come a long way, especially in the last few years.

“Fiji has made history a couple of times and Papua New Guinea made it to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, but I do think more involvement and money needs to be put into the women’s programs and facilities to give equal opportunities, when we’re compared to other countries.

“I do believe women’s sports has also been taken more seriously these past few years with more broadcasting and media outlets for the athletes. But I do believe there can be more done for us athletes to be more successful.”

She said women in sports need to be given the same recognition as men.

“I believe that if more people came to support women’s sport, they will realise that we’re also great athletes. Honestly, I love watching women’s sports compared to men’s sports, there’s something about our drive and passion that really comes out while we play.”

Trina continues to inspire and encourage women and girls that women can play male dominated sports.

“To all the young women out there thinking of playing sports just know you’re making an impact. Do what you love regardless of what anyone tells you, fight for what you want and never give up.

“Have fun and enjoy these moments, my best days growing up was club practices and tournaments with my team, those are the memories that’ll last forever. There’s going to be tough times but remember it won’t last forever – that’s what makes you stronger.

Being a woman in sports is a blessing, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Dream big and don’t stop till you get what you want.”

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