Friday 30 August 2019, 09:00

Sheroes: The footballing mother who never gives up

  • Our #Sheroes series highlights amazing women on and off the pitch

  • Hwang Boram's pregnancy presented dilemma of choosing between career and unborn baby

  • But Korea Republic international had her baby girl and won a place at France 2019

Playing at her second FIFA Women’s World Cup™, Hwang Boram donned the No4 shirt for Korea Republic at France 2019. The defender did so despite overcoming considerable obstacles.

Three knee surgeries took their toll, but Hwang battled back to fitness each time. Upon her return to the national side after the third operation – "I was worried I may not be able to play again after rehab" – Hwang was then tasked with the greatest challenge of her career yet: an unexpected pregnancy.

"I was in complete shock and I gave serious thought to ending the pregnancy many times," Hwang told FIFA in an extremely emotional interview. "I felt bad for my unborn baby, but being a player was my priority and I didn’t want to give up on everything. But if I gave up on this baby, I could stay in the game."

As a fighter, Hwang never gives up. And with the support of her husband Lee Duhee, she was able to maintain her career as an international footballer, blazing a trial by becoming the first player in the current Korea Republic set-up to become a mother.

"We promised each other she was going to go back to playing after she gave birth," said Lee. "She trained really hard after having the baby. I would watch the baby while she went back to yoga, pilates, and weight training."

"He has helped me tremendously in accomplishing my goals," Hwang said of her husband. "My life has changed because of this one baby. I am living a bigger dream thanks to her. She is a lucky charm for me."

Spotlight on the #Sheroes

Hwang’s story is the fifth in our six-part #Sheroes series – short films on females with inspirational stories that fuse ‘The Beautiful Game’ and love – to honour a Women’s World Cup year.

Previous stories include: