We had the awesome opportunity to have Ms. Tanvie Hans, a former professional women's football player in the English Premier League come as a guest coach to our girls practice in November! We had the opportunity to interview her afterwards and here’s what she had to say.
We first asked her how her football journey started.
Ms. Tanvie was introduced to football at the age of 7. She would play with the boys in her class and immediately knew that football was HER sport. She was fortunate that her school was one of the first schools in Delhi to introduce a girl’s team, which is where she started playing competitive football.
It was in the 11th grade when she was looking for a club to train with, that she realized that there was no coaching for girls alone. She chose to go to Jesus Mary College in Delhi because it was and continues to be one of the best teams in Delhi. She then wanted to pursue her higher studies at Exeter University in the UK, where she experienced a whole new level of football. The women she met in England were more driven and motivated for football because they had a proper infrastructure and professional coaching, unlike India. Tanvie went on to try out for the India women'a national football team and got selected to be apart of the team, however because she help a British passport, she was unable to get her spot on the team.
At this point, Tanvie took advantage of the opportunity in front of her. After finishing her studies at Exeter, she went back to India to train for a few months time and went on back to England for her trials where she got selected by Tottenham Hotspur. She played with Hotspur for two years and then one year with Fullum ladies. After her three years playing professionally, she felt like it was time to return home to India so that she could help pioneer women's football in her home.
Next, we wanted to know, in her experience, which football scene is better: Bangalore (where she stays now) or Delhi (where she grew up).
According to Tanvie, the football scene in both Delhi and Bangalore are growing at school level. In Bangalore there are more facilities to train at and it's more of a favorable climate year round, whereas Delhi has about 3 to 5 grounds totally and summers in Delhi are extreme, making it difficult to practice and train in the middle of the day.
Lastly, we wanted to know where she see’s women's football in India ten years from now.
Tanvie also mentions that the Indian Women’s National team has a higher chance of participating in the World cup compared to men IF they are guided and trained in the right direction. The women's team is ranked 56, while the men are ranking 105 according to the FIFA world ranking. Tanvie believes that women's football in India will see tremendous growth and it will look completely different than it does a decade from now.
Ms. Tanvie believes, there is a fast growth with football among people in India. More and more opportunities are presenting themselves to the men such as the under 17 FIFA cup being held in India and the India Super League growing. Concerning women though, there is a slower growth in terms school-level tournaments, clubs, and coaching.
She says “we lack structure, the consistency that a 10-month league brings, and financial support”. She hopes to make women's football reach greater heights in the next four to five-years. This is only possible if they take advantage of the fire that has already started within India for football. The task in front of her and other women who are passionately pursuing football, is great; but by promoting women’s clubs like ours at BCFC, coaching, and training women footballer’s of the next generation in Bangalore and across India, she hopes to see much growth in women’s football in India.
Tanvie has set great standards for Indian women. She is a role model that female athletes, specifically female footballers have never had before. She hopes to encourage and inspire the next generation of Women in India to be strong, passionate, hardworking, and to never give up on their dreams no matter what society tells them. Her vision is to take Indian’s women football and all women's athletics to greater heights; we at BCFC hope to be a part of that vision and promote women’s football in India.