Women Worth the Spotlights: Suzan Mohamed Gaber
If you are Egyptian, then there is a great probability that your sportive knowledge is solely related to that of Soccer games. If you’re a foreigner, then you’d automatically assume that we are the Real Thing when it comes to Soccer. But, as much as I hate to burst into your good-intentions bubble and shuffle the ugly truth into your face; Egypt National Soccer team has not made it to the World Cup Championship since 1991. Despite having great records and very promising champions in other sports, most Egyptians seem to only care about glorifying highly-paid players who clearly do not achieve their national set goals.
Egypt Shooting Female Champion Suzan Mohamed Gaber is one of those Egyptian athletes struggling with such cultural stigmas. The 24 year-old young lady, who is balancing a busy schedule with a full-time job as an English teacher, an MA student, and a national Champion who has to get her weekly training sessions or even plan her tournament trips, has garnered several medals on both national and regional levels while representing Egypt in several international competitions.
I’ve had the chance to meet Suzan Mohamed Gaber who was generous enough to let us peep into her life as a national Champion.
Thanks Suzan for the interview! Tell me, when and how did you get into Shooting?
When I was first introduced to shooting, I was playing Karate for almost 11 years. Back then, I was Egypt’s Karate National Champion for more than five consecutive years. But with Shooting, it all started in high school when my father introduced me to his friend, Coach Yousry Shehata, who talked me into trying Shooting for the very first time. My father, too, insisted that I should give it a “shot” and I was actually willing to try. I guess God’s plan was set, as within 6 months of my initial trainings, I joined the National Shooting team. Today, I am the holder of Women’s Egyptian record for Trap Shooting (69/75).
What championships have you won so far?
Nationally, I’ve actually won every national championship, at least three times. In Africa, I’ve presented Egypt in two different Olympic shooting disciplines; Trap shooting in which I’ve come second both in Morocco (2011) and Egypt (2014), and Helice where I also came second to my Italian competition. Internationally, I came in Third place in Cyprus’ Grand Prix (2010) and scored 7th place in Kuwait’s Grand prix (2015).
Sounds impressive! How many times do you exercise a week?
At least, twice a week! But, I tend to do more exercises before competitions.
You’re technically an expert in your field. In your opinion, what does it take to be good at shooting?
Passion, dedication and talent. Pure and simple.
What hardships do Egyptian shooters face?
Coverage! Most people do not know what shooting is. Finding sponsors can be challenging, as well. Shooting is an expensive sport. However, if we have local sponsors, it would be possible for shooters to compete in more championships and gain much experience. Sponsorships would also allow us to have a national coach (We haven’t had one for years!) and even go to training camps.
Do you think Egyptians would be interested in shooting if there is more media coverage of its tournaments?
Definitely! Shooting is a very interesting game and can be even considered an adventure.
With such hardships, what motivates you? What keeps you going?
The love of the game and the will to excel…
What would you tell aspiring Egyptian athletes like yourself?
Shoot for the stars (Pun intended). Success may take time, but don’t you ever give up. But also, don’t carry on for the wrong reasons whether you want to prove someone wrong or want to be purely famous. Do it because you love it. Do it to because you can. Do it for your country and for yourself. But never forget to rely on God and trust His plan.