Singaporean student finds 'family love' in Liverpool football

A female student from Singapore, who found love and protection in a Liverpool football team, has won a national sports journalism award.

Hana Mohd Basir, a second-year BA Sports Journalism student won the Football Writers’ Award as a runner-up in the ‘Unheard Voices’ category.

Her report of how she joined a women’s team to settle in with her British hosts, impressed judges, including the BBC’s Jacqui Oatley and Pat Nevin.

They said footballers  - often themselves thousands of miles from home – would relate to Hana’s theme of Liverpool, Everton or any club becoming their substitute family.

Adopted by Scousers

In an extract from her Football Writers’ Award entry, she writes: “After leaving home and having to look after myself, I suddenly felt exposed, like I no longer had a safety net. I’d always wanted to be independent, but I began to feel isolated instead.

The team became that safety net I so desperately needed - Hana Basir

“This all changed the more I played football with these incredible group of Liverpool women. In the absence of my family, they stepped in. I joined the team on 27th July 2021, and from then on, I gained multiple adoptive mothers and sisters.

“I could cry just thinking about it. After weeks of forcing myself to hide any form of weakness in the name of ‘independence’, the team became that safety net I so desperately needed.

'Game of trust'

She goes on: “Football is a game that requires trust and chemistry. Nothing beats the feeling of knowing a teammate is there to cover you when you run into trouble with the ball at your feet, or when you’re low on confidence and you hear a familiar voice encouraging you to take a chance. Whatever the reason may be, the love and protection teammates can provide for one another is incomparable.

Senior Lecturer Dave Randles said: “Hana is one of just four females in her year group, an area of recruitment we are actively trying to encourage. She has a lovely writing style which the judges described as ‘excellent’.

A film & television graduate from Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design, her biggest passion has always been sports. Inspired by documentaries made by Copa90 and more, she decided to bring my love for writing and media production over to sport journalism.

“I hope to one day put these skills to good use and contribute to the growth of sports in Singapore as well as women's sports,” added Hana.


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