Dipa Shahi has fond memories of the time she fell in love with football. She grew up in a small village called Kharpunath in Humla and would often see boys playing the game. She became friends with the boys and started playing with them, even though she didn’t have the proper equipment and her community didn’t approve of girls playing football. Despite the challenges, Shahi continued to play and enjoy the game.
Shahi played football at her school despite an unsupportive family and society. She says, “I had to play with the boys because football tournaments in schools were limited and only for boys.”
Shahi was selected to represent her country at the 2021 SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, she suffered a hand injury during the first match and had to leave the tournament early.
Shahi returned to the national team in 2022 for the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship in India and scored a goal against Bangladesh. Then she was recruited by a big team Tribhuvan Army Football Club. She also played for them in the National Women’s League 2078 in Chitwan.
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She was selected for the first time in the Nepal national team for the 2022 SAFF SAFF Women’s Championship held in Kathmandu and made her debut with a win against Bhutan.
Shahi’s favorite moment in her football career was scoring a goal against Sri Lanka in the SAFF Women’s Championship 2022. Despite Nepal reaching the final, they lost to Bangladesh. Shahi said, “Winning the championship would have been great, but sometimes things don’t go as planned in football.”
Shahi, who grew up playing football in her hometown of Humla, never imagined she would one day represent her country. Her parents encouraged her to focus on her studies, and many people in her community believed that the only way to achieve success was to become a doctor or pilot.
However, Shahi’s hard work and dedication to football paid off and she became a regular on the national team. Despite her success, Shahi still values education and plans to balance her sports career with her studies. She wants to go back to her hometown and show that you can be famous by playing and that it’s not necessary to become a doctor or pilot.