IES Kista Y9 student, Ayla Hallberg Hossain, at the age of 12 set a world record in the high jump. And recently won a bronze medal in long jump, with a jump of 6,40m. This was during her first Senior Swedish indoor Championship.
A few weeks back, Ayla broke the world record in U17 and U20 women’s long jump – TWICE! Being only 15 years old, we couldn't be happier for her. And with that in mind, we were able to have a Q&A with her about sports, exercise, and life.
Q. What a great achievement to win a bronze medal! Please tell us about the Senior Swedish indoor Championship competition.
A. It was my first time competing in such a big competition as the Senior Swedish Championship and I was so excited to compete. Later I heard that the competition broke a record for the biggest achievements in a Senior Swedish indoor Championship, which was cool.
Q. Do you have a role model that you look up to or someone who inspires you?
A. I do not have a specific role model, just people that I look up to and who inspire me. They are people I watch on TV or read about in magazines that inspire me by the different things they do.
Q. Do you have any more competitions you are training for?
A. Later in the summer I have the Junior Olympics which are held in Slovakia, the Junior EM, and the European Championship, which is hosted in Jerusalem. It will be the first time I travel abroad for a competition, and I am so excited. Until then I will prepare by continuing training as I am doing now since it is working out well.
Q. You are an ambassador for a community health initiative called "En frisk generation", tell us about the program?
A. It is an organization run by the Prinsparets Stiftelse with a set goal to encourage the younger generation into movement. It is so important to be physically active in order to stay healthy.
Q. What is your role in the initiative?
A. My role as an ambassador is to inspire other young people around me to be more active everyday. Together with the Prinsparets Stiftelse we have held events where we have had activities with friends and family. We played different kinds of games and sports to try to get people in our surroundings, and in school, to engage in movement.
Q. Do you see any pros or cons with exercising while studying?
A. Exercising helps a lot in school to be able to focus better and to remember things better. I see lots of pros, a con could be if you get pressured by athletic competitions, and to that, my message is that it should be easy. Go out with friends and go for a walk or a run together. You do not need to be in a competitive group to be physically active, just have fun with it.
Q. We wish you the best of luck and are so happy for you winning the bronze medal! Do you have any practical life tips you can share for someone who has high ambitions and goals set on their own while also being a student?
A. I have two tips, the first is to believe in yourself, because it really does matter if you believe in yourself. Others can also believe in you, but it is you believing in yourself that will make a difference. The second tip is to make up smaller goals along the way towards your big ambition. Smaller goals will make it easier to reach the end goal.
Here is a recent article about Ayla - Enjoy!