Diya Patel: a New Perspective

Diya Patel (#13 in white) watches the back post for attackers

Mini Patel

Diya Patel (#13 in white) watches the back post for attackers

Diana Venegas, Journalist

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Fifteen year old Diya Patel has been playing soccer since she was a 6 year old living in France. Her brother, Chintu Patel, first introduced her to the sport and it quickly became her favorite.

Back then, she only played for fun with her friends out on the streets. But, by 2012, she was living in California and decided she would play on her first official team. Since she had no previous experience with teams, Patel struggled, “I was a lot slower than everyone else but I caught on and after playing 4 seasons of recreational soccer, I joined a club team and I have been with that team for the past 5 years or so.”

Moving from France to California was not an easy adjustment. Not only was she homesick and missing her friends, but she had to learn a new language right away as she began 3rd grade. “I started being able to understand, speak, and write English after I moved.”

Patel wants to eventually go to college, but she has yet to choose one career. Although her options are mostly focused on the medical field, ophthalmology has caught her interest and the chance to help people in need is endearing. If there were a chance she could go to college on a soccer scholarship, she comments, “…that would be pretty amazing.”

Patel has been attending University Preparatory since 7th grade and now plays goal keeper for the school team. She has gotten closer to her friends and teammates here in California. She mentioned that bonding with her teammates outside of sports helps while they are playing and some techniques she would improve are shooting and communication. Communication is essential during the game play because “it makes it easier for the team to move as a whole up and down the field.” Without skillful communication, teams can often struggle.

Soccer has always been a large part of Diya Patel’s life. It connects her to her friends, gets her to have fun, allows her to stay in shape, and it is also a sort of therapy for her. Being introduced to playing soccer has been one of the most impact-full things to happen in Diya’s life.

The value that Patel puts on her favorite past time can be recognized by the way she speaks of it, “It’s really an amazing feeling to be a part of a team, to be a part of something bigger. Soccer is like my getaway.”