We are proud to highlight local soccer players setting positive examples of hard work and leadership within our YWCA Youth Soccer Program.
We are thrilled to highlight Khintway this month, a former Syracuse City FC player who has a powerful and inspiring story!
Khintway’s family fled Myanmar (Burma) due to war and ethnic cleansing, and settled in a refugee camp named Umpiem Mai camp in Thailand, where Khintway was born. In 2013, they were able to come to America and pursue better opportunities in education, access to healthcare, and a safe and secure home. Due to the climate and cultural differences, the transition was difficult at first. Migration can be hard, and remaining in a close-knit family is what got them through difficult times, Khintway says.
One of her greatest sources of happiness has been the freedom to pursue interests that are personal to her. She says, “Syracuse City FC was one of my joys that contributed to growing my passion for soccer.” Khintway says she joined Syracuse City FC because she wanted to play soccer all year around rather than just during the academic year.
However, it is often expensive to play in clubs and leagues, so when she learned that Syracuse City FC offered free opportunities to play in the community, she decided to join the team.
“I’ve learned that you need to work as a team in order to succeed. While working with large groups, communication is the key. Always be helpful and kind to others – especially if they’re struggling with a skill you have,” she says.
Coach David Pittman shares, “Khintway is always in great spirits and makes the other girls laugh. She is a hard worker and always willing to help out. Over the last two summers she has been volunteering and coaching with the Soccer for Success program at Schiller Park.”
It has been over a decade since Khintway and her family migrated here, however, she says that they will never forget where they came from – no matter how much time goes on.
Coming to the end of her senior year at Nottingham High School, she has recently committed to Niagara University with a full-ride scholarship. She is planning to major in nursing, with the hopes of helping people back in her home country. Khinway says, “I see my future-self playing soccer for a local club in Buffalo during my 4 years, or hopefully playing for the Niagara women’s soccer team.”