SSS: What is it that motivates you?
Omar: In terms of motivation, just growing and developing, and being the best that I can be – surrounding myself with people that I can learn from: doctors, physiotherapists, trainers – even people that aren’t in the industry, that helps me grow even more.
SSS: We had little Anabella on stage, and she’s just seven years old – what do you think your dream was when you were her age?
Omar: Honestly speaking, being in London, it was very much football based – I wanted to be a footballer like any other kid in the class. What I liked about Anabella is that she picked a discipline like marital arts, which is great because that’s protection, that’s discipline – that’s also a team sport, and for me it was great because I loved the way that she responded as well. She came up on stage, she got a bit more comfortable, she spoke into the microphone, and when she got back down her mum embraced her – having support of family is key. I think that’s also something that’s helped her, whilst maybe some may face the opposite, by not being backed one hundred per cent.
SSS: You talked about your inner child and how everyone has their inner child no matter what age they are. What does your inner child tell you to keep doing?
Omar: To do what you love, which is something people are sometimes worried to go into because it might not be the best financial option. I had a lot of pressure to get into something more science based because my Dad is a surgeon and I come from a family of doctors, so I studied Sports Science and that was my way of getting into the field. Just not being afraid to do that, regardless of if you have the support of your family. My family didn’t want me to play football, but I found myself gravitating more towards the sports specific field – and football in particular. I think it’s doing what you love and not being scared to challenge yourself, no matter what kinds of obstacles you face.
SSS: Our next question is twofold: what has been one of your greatest challenges? And one of your greatest achievements?
Omar: One of the greatest challenges was picking myself up after a set-back in the industry that I had, after being recognised as Coach of the Year and all that stuff. I wasn’t very good on social media, so I didn’t take advantage of all the things that I had achieved, and using my facility was obviously one very good thing, but then the coaching and finding myself at the World Cup in 2015 was probably my highlight from a sport experience – being there and finding my element would be one of my highlights.
SSS: Who would you say is your role model?
Omar: There are different people who inspire me in different ways, family obviously – my mum has been very very supportive, regardless of the crazy stuff I have come up with. That’s one thing, but from a sporting perspective, people like Muhammad Ali, and players that have faced a lot of different things in life – getting to where they are now, without getting it easy. I think that for me was the biggest inspiration to say “wow” that’s who I aspire to be like.
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