“Think about your passion, face your barriers” – Nahid Biyarjomandi
Nahid Biyarjomandi is one of the “Unstoppables” who were chosen for the ‘Try and Stop Us’ campaign that was launched by World Rugby last year to promote women in rugby. This campaign features 15 inspirational women and girls with unstoppable qualities from around the globe, four of them were from Asia Rugby including Nahid. The 32-year-old Iranian
“Unstoppable” is also a coach and head of women’s and men’s rugby development in Iran, besides being on the Women’s Advisory Committee in Asia Rugby 2020.
Sport has always taken a huge part in Nahid’s life, as she went to the physical education high school in Iran where she played many sports with track and field being her major sport. She also played basketball and cricket for a short period of time before discovering her passion for rugby.
“Near 11 or 12 years ago, I got introduced to rugby by a friend of mine who asked me to try playing rugby, back then I used to live in a city near Tehran the capital of Iran, in that city rugby was more popular amongst boys than girls” Nahid said.
She played rugby for almost 8 years, after that she had to take off her rugby boots so she could focus only on coaching and developing women’s rugby in her country. “I love playing rugby, but it was not possible for me to continue playing and being a coach at the same time, I needed to focus only on coaching” she tells me.
Alongside her coaching journey Nahid was invited by Iran Rugby Association to join them in developing women’s rugby in Iran.
“We had many women teams, and many women players but we did not have the right structure to develop women’s rugby, therefore it was a part of my job to work hard and build the appropriate structure to develop women’s rugby in Iran, and I think after two years of working with Iran Rugby Association on women’s rugby development I was assigned as Head of Rugby Development for Men and Women in Iran” Nahid added.
“I didn’t do it by myself, there were many people beside me”
When I asked Nahid how she managed to develop rugby and inspire more women to join rugby in her country and make the game grow more each day her first answer was that she was not alone. “I was not alone to make it happen, many people helped me and still are” Nahid said.
Nahid and everyone who is involved in Iran rugby worked together and helped each other by believing that teamwork is essential to achieve their goals.
With everyone’s effort Iran rugby was able to grow the game in the country by undertaking the “Long-term player development pathway” and starting rugby in schools and making it more popular within clubs and universities, besides managing national tournaments and making it grow in many provinces in the country, in addition to that, media coverage had a huge impact in developing rugby in Iran.
“We did lots of media issues and lots of rugby events and news were covered by many Iranian governmental TV channels, besides working on social media, all of that led to many girls and women getting to know rugby more and more” Nahid said. She also made sure to thank her husband who is also a rugby player and has been very supportive of her journey.
Being “Unstoppable” means facing many barriers and difficulties in your journey, but not letting these challenges stop you from achieving your goals. Nahid talked about her challenges saying “I lived in Karaj and my work was in Tehran so every day I had to go to Tehran to work and help Iran Rugby Association and then go back home, I had to travel for two hours every day. It was not easy, it was hard for me, but because of my rugby passion I didn’t let it stop me”.
Nahid also mentioned that girls and women in Iran have challenges and face many barriers, but she is willing to help them in every way possible.
“Being unstoppable is a huge responsibility for me” – Nahid Biyarjomandi
After choosing Nahid amongst the “Unstoppables” and joining the “Try and Stop Us” campaign with other inspiring women, she feels that there is a huge responsibility on her now that she is in a place where many young women and girls look up to her.
“I think being unstoppable in this huge project is a difficult and a heavy responsibility for me towards Iran Rugby and Asia Rugby and all women and girls around the world.
Many people helped me to get here, so now it’s my time to help others”, Nahid said. “After the Unstoppables project I believe that my duty and my mission is finding a new generation of Unstoppables in Asia and a new generation of Unstoppables in World Rugby”, she added.
Nahid’s passion for rugby was evident when she talked about the sport and how it makes her believe that everything is possible, as she went on from playing to coaching to developing rugby and that only showed her how rugby opens many doors to her, learning from each one of them.
One of the milestones that had a huge impact on her and added to her confidence as she claims was Iran Rugby winning the Women’s Rugby Development Award 2018 after being invited by Asia Rugby to participate in “Women in Rugby Leadership Forum” that was held on 13 December in Bangkok, Thailand as part of Asia Rugby’s 50th-anniversary celebration.
“It was an honor to all of our women and girls, and I think they can see themselves in the future in my shoes and even bigger than that. It’s so good and I am so happy about that, I think it affected all girls in Iran and not just me”.
One thing Nahid sounds ultimately sure about is that she wouldn’t change anything in her past, because she believes that everything happens in the right time, whether it’s good or bad, and everything she has been through made her who she is today.
“If time goes back and I have the chance to advise my younger self, I would say to myself that you need to keep going because you can achieve it, and to be kind to others”.
Nahid’s success did not come on a silver spoon, she worked so hard to get where she is today, and she believes that in order to achieve something huge you need to go for it step by step without rushing and jumping ahead. It may take time but eventually when you reach the top you will have this valuable feeling of pride and satisfaction that you overcame every obstacle on your way up.
“Think about your passion, face your barriers” – Nahid Biyarjomandi
Nahid’s message to women not only in Iran or Asia Rugby, but to all women over the globe is an empowering one: “Always think about you passion, face your barriers and problems, because nothing is easy but if there’s something you want to achieve and you work hard for it, you definitely can catch it, and always think outside the box with no negative thoughts and doubts, and always be supportive to each other because I believe in karma, I think when we help someone it gets back to us, life shows me that every day”.
Nahid’s story is an inspiring message on its own, it is one that assures all women and girls who have big dreams that there are no limits they cannot break and that they need to keep going after their dreams and goals without letting any challenges stop them.