March 8th marks International Women’s Day. An inspiring initiative that celebrates women’s achievements while recognising the challenges they’ve faced along the way.
To show our support, thegoodlife. have selected five empowering female community members to share their stories. Stories that showcase their passion and how their drive and determination has helped them push their limitations.
Martinette van Vuuren
“Women are like lionesses which is very true because as women we encourage, support and inspire each other to never give up! We’ve seen this sport grow in the last two years from two ladies to now a community of over 40 women riding.”
Martinette is the founder of Grit Girls UAE, a community that supports and inspires women to get into the sport of off-road motorbiking in a safe and inclusive environment. She was given a second chance when she survived a severe accident eight months ago, and she’s now committed more than ever to giving women the opportunity to live their dreams by entering a male dominated sport. Her love of people, motorbikes and seeing people grow and develop on a personal level is what inspires her to keep doing what she does.
“It can be challenging to chase my climbing goals and still balance time for family, friends and other areas in my life. The rough hands, bruised shins, bunions and bulky muscles might make me self-conscious once in a while too. But all in all, I accept these challenges as part of the deal.”
Audrey is passionate about self-growth and even though climbing seemed so intimidating at first, she was inspired to pursue it and break out of her comfort zone. She’s motivated by the feeling of exhilaration when she completes a climb at her limit and her commitment is stronger than ever being surrounded by other driven and supportive friends in the field.
“Growing up with an older brother, I always had to do anything he was doing but better, it’s the competitiveness in me. He played baseball so I had to play softball. Both my father and brother played in the Emirates Softball League when they lived here and it only made sense to follow my passion and continue on the Taormina legacy within the UAE softball community.”
Brianna loves staying active, and her love of the game is what keeps her motivated and committed to playing Softball. She believes that pursuing your passion brings about a level of happiness and fulfillment that keeps you committed. “Leading by example is something I strongly believe in and if others see you following what you’re passionate about, they may feel inspired to do the same.”
“Growing up in Lebanon, I was a pro Basketball player competing in division 1 leagues with leading clubs like Riyadi and Hoops. As I’ve gotten older, I find it harder to balance out my work life and find time to play as often but my passion for basketball still gets me back to the court where I feel most at home”
Aseel’s passion to play basketball grows by the day and she believes the sport brings people together. Her commitment to keep playing as often as possible ultimately inspires others to do the same.
“Words can barely describe it, you have to live it. It’s just worth experiencing the feeling. When you pop up on your board and ride your first wave all the way to the shore, it’s exhilarating, it’s an adrenaline rush, all the while being completely part of nature, completely in one of its elements. It’s one of those sports that are challenging and therapeutic at the same time, practicing both patience and resilience.“
Esraa has met some of the most passionate and committed people in the surf community in Dubai and their enthusiasm and passion for the sport is admirable. Something you start to understand once you become an avid surfer she claims. The challenge is it doesn’t work based on your schedule, it’s Mother Nature after all. If you’re a committed surfer, when the swell shows up, you’ll make it happen.
“What I’ve realized is how empowered I’ve felt in this journey to becoming a surfer. But even more rewarding than that is feeling alive and in love with who I was becoming as a whole in the process. That’s why I believe everyone has and should prioritize their passions; it’s part of you.”