Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Football League: Giving young girls in remotest areas opportunity to flex their muscles

In the conservative region of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Shimshal village is home of opportunities for talented young girls from remotest areas, who love sports and want to showcase their skills. Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Football League, found by two teenage college going Shimshali sisters Sumaira Inayat and Karishma Inayat, is a football league for senior school girls, of ages between 12-16 of the region.

Shimshal is a harsh area in terms of its climate. It is snow clad for more than 5 months, each year. With a very harsh topography, the economic conditions and the earning opportunities in this area are very limited.

Despite all the hurdles, Sumaira and Karishma, carried by their own zeal and passion to play football, have been carrying out tournaments to provide girls from these areas a chance to prove their talents.

Since 2016, teams from very remote and distant areas in northern Pakistan, where girls have no access to proper playing facilities, participate in the league. A total of 12 teams have played the league so far, in a fully sponsored event where their traveling, accommodation, catering, refreshment cost as well as proper football kit which includes shirt, short, shoes, socks, shin pads and other necessary items are provided.

The founders hope to introduce educational scholarships to the deserving players to pursue their education. They believe this league should empower girls to gain scholarships across colleges and universities across Pakistan. This would lead to more opportunities both in terms of sport and livelihood.