Get To Know
Yuka Momiki has been into football for as long as she can remember. Her journey started in elementary school when she joined a local club, and by middle school, her skill and reputation had grown so much that she was recognized as a top talent in Japan. Today, Yuka is the star of her national team as they battle on the global stage. Her impact, however, goes beyond just the pitch – it’s her dream to elevate women’s football and inspire girls everywhere.
QUESTION & ANSWER
What do you love about football?
Football is interesting to me because there is so much story behind one single goal. You have good days and bad days, and sometimes those struggles outweigh the fun, but you push through in your drive for that single goal. I’ve grown so much through playing football, and I’ve learned to fight for my goals and dreams on and off the pitch. In that sense, I feel really blessed to have football in my life.
Where does your passion for evolving women’s football come from?
Ever since I was a high schooler, I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility to advocate the appeal of women’s football. That passion got stronger through my professional career when I felt the frustration that we don’t get as much attention as the men’s teams, even when we are winning international matches. When I went to college, I wanted to take my passion and turn it into action, so I took sports business classes and wrote a thesis about how to change the situation of women’s football. It turned into the project that I am doing now, called Momi-P project, where I develop strategies to acquire more female football fans.
How do you want to inspire the next generation?
I want to be a pioneer, someone who doesn’t exist yet as a Japanese female footballer. I know that a lot of my fellow players feel that something needs to change, but they don’t know what they can do. I can’t make everything happen by myself, but I believe that if I take the first step, together we can create momentum. I also feel that there are many similarities between the struggles in sport and the struggles that all women face today in life. I want to cheer for those women, and I want them to see us too. I hope we can all work together as one big team.
FOR ALL THINGS FOOTBALL, DOWNLOAD THE NIKE APP
Follow your favorite teams and players with the Nike App as they compete on the world stage this summer in France.