Congo soccer club welcomes first ever female coach

STORY: From intern…all the way to head coach.

Salama Miruho Djasmine is the first female coach Daring Club Virunga has ever had.

She's also the first woman to be training a men's soccer team in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Soccer has always been a part of Djasmine’s life.

Her father was a referee, and all five of her brothers played the sport.

She played too, until she decided to train and qualify as a professional coach.

[Salama Miruho Djasmine, Head coach, Daring Club Virunga] “With the training I received in Kinshasa and the level I had reached there, a Federal A License, I came here for internship at Daring Club Virunga, because it is a great team that represents the province of North Kivu. When I came for a training camp, I met the former coaches of the team but then there were things that were not going well in the team. The coaches had to leave and the team was left with no one to lead them. I took over even though I was an intern. I have been in charge of the team since then.”

Djasmine says her gender hasn’t held her back.

“There have been no challenges that I can think of. I also thought I would face difficulties at the beginning, but looking at the work I have done with these young players, I find that there are no hurdles because the players listen to me and follow instructions and do this work well. I feel very good, I am comfortable."

Soccer player Melly Mongolare said Djasmine was a source of pride for the Congolese club.

[ Melly Mongolare, Soccer player] “It is a big pleasure, because I think it is the first time, not just in Goma, in this town, but in the whole of the country. I think it is the first team who are being trained by a female coach. So it is a big pleasure for me to be training with a female coach.’’

Daring Club Virunga is one of the top teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province.

[Salama Miruho Djasmine, Head coach, Daring Club Virunga] “We have a team that can represent North Kivu province very well. With all the work and exercises we do, and I also have good players because they understand everything I tell them. I am well and able and my players are ready to represent the province and play the competition that is coming soon.”

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