Get To Know
Yuka Momiki has been into soccer 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 field—it's her dream to elevate women's soccer and inspire girls everywhere.
QUESTION AND ANSWER
What do you love about soccer?
Soccer 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 soccer, and I've learned to fight for my goals and dreams on and off the field. In that sense, I feel really blessed to have soccer in my life.
Where does your passion for evolving women's soccer come from?
Ever since I was a high schooler, I've always felt a sense of responsibility to advocate the appeal of women's soccer. 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 soccer. It turned into the project that I am doing now, called Momi-P project, where I develop strategies to acquire more female soccer 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 soccer player. 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.
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