Indonesia Expat
Education Featured Sports/Health

Finding the Right Balance as a Professional Soccer Athlete and Student

Naomi Nielsen
Professional Soccer Athlete Naomi - then and now

Naomi Nielsen, a national soccer athlete, comes from a family of professional athletes where her mother and grandmother were national tennis athletes back in the 80s and 70s.

She just graduated from SPH Kemang Village this year where she has spent most of her life. She started in 2nd grade and found her way into professional soccer while at SPH.

Where It All Started
Naomi’s journey as a professional soccer athlete began at school when she started playing in 4th grade. It was in 8th grade when she began looking for soccer options outside of the school team. She started playing for a club called Pro: Direct Academy Indonesia and from there, she received so many opportunities. “In 2018, I joined the Under-16 National team. I also played as a part of the Jakarta Provincial Team in December 2018. From then on, I eventually got the opportunity to play with Persija Club Jakarta,” said Naomi.

Naomi Nielsen
Naomi Nielsen

 

Balancing School and Athlete Life
Life as a professional athlete and a student is surely not that easy to manage. However, Naomi received tremendous support from SPH Kemang Village where she had the opportunity to pursue her passion without sacrificing academics.

“When I started getting into professional soccer, I had to miss a lot of school hours. Thankfully, my teachers supported me. They would personally ask me if I had any questions, and they would send me my work. If I was behind on anything, I could ask them for help. They weren’t demanding and didn’t criticize me. I know that they look out for me, care for me, and I can share my struggles. I’m very thankful for the support given by SPH Kemang Village,” said Naomi.

Naomi Nielsen
Naomi Nielsen with her family

Pay It Forward: Giving Back to the Community
Not only that she is blessed with athletic abilities, but she also has a generous heart. Last year, she donated and supported underprivileged children in rural areas in Papua through Lentera Bagi Bangsa. “When my mom told me about Lentera Bagi Bangsa, I knew that I could help with even the smallest action. Then I thought, why wouldn’t I give back? It just felt like this is what I had to do—not because I was forced to, but because I know in my heart that God blessed me with all these gifts and talents.”

SPH Kemang Village continues to encourage students to pursue their passion, unlock their potential, as well as to develop a personal relationship with God, and be compassionate to others.

SPH has watched my entire growth since I enrolled in 2nd grade and has continued until the day of my graduation. There are so many wonderful values that were instilled in me ever since I was young, and they have a special place in my heart even today,” Naomi said.

After graduating from SPH Kemang Village, Naomi is currently training in the regional training center (Pelatda) and will be competing in the upcoming National Sports Week 2021 (PON) on 2-15 October 2021, in Jayapura, Papua.

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