April 24th 2019

When Leisure Leagues Pakistan launched back in 2017, we said the glitzy exhibition game was just the start. We said that were going to put down lasting roots, a real infrastructure and create a lasting legacy that continued long after the stars went home.

Thanks to the Trunkwala family and World Group, we have been able to start leagues in over 80 cities, we have won awards for our community work – which has been recognised by the UN – and now we have appointed our first female league co-ordinator.

Saliah Baig, from Hunza, in the remote north of the country, towards the border with China, is the local organiser for the boys league, but even more than that, she is the first female referee for small sided football in the region.

Maaz Khan, Digital Manager for Leisure Leagues Pakistan was thrilled to welcome Saliah on board and added: “Saliah has succeeded in breaking down the societal stereotypes through the platform of LL PK and has proved herself as a role model for the women of this country. Leisure Leagues Pakistan will continue its vision of empowering women and bringing gender equality throughout the country.”

This, though, was all part of the long-term vision for LL PK, as Maaz explained, this wasn’t about leaving soccer to its own devices once the thrilled crowds at the exhibition matches  had left the stadium. “Football is more than just a game. In Pakistan’s case,” he said.  “It is also acting as a change agent, where football is providing a platform for the empowerment of women, highlighting that girls can, and should, play too.”

Waqas Hussain, the Regional Area Manager for the league in Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan, echoed those thoughts and said Saliah was already a vital member of the team: “Leisure Leagues PK has organised several female based small-sided football leagues in the past year, with more than 200 girls already having played in our leagues.

“As Pakistan’s leading football social network (on Facebook), we are spearheading the ‘Great Football Revolution’ in the country, with both girls and boys being a part of it.”

To find out more about Leisure Leagues Pakistan, click https://www.leisureleagues.pk/

Or here to join the biggest network in Pakistan. https://www.facebook.com/leisureleaguespk

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