Coca-Cola Empower Lecture Series was launched by Coca-Cola Pakistan in 2014 as an innovative programme to provide extra-curricular learning to university students through inspirational talks delivered by experts in various fields. Just recently, Coca-Cola Pakistan collaborated with AIESEC Pakistan to launch EMPOWER Lecture Series on YouthSpeak Forum 2016. For the first time Coca-Cola Pakistan has partnered with a global forum that targets youth empowerment and localized outreach.

This month’s EMPOWER Lecture featured the guest speaker Ushna Suhail whose journey was untold and undiscovered by many until now. Ushna Suhail, 23 years old, tennis fanatic and a patriotic at heart is the young tennis sensation of Pakistan who is the first and only Pakistan player to have WTA (Women Tennis Association) World ranking since 2014 in singles and 2012 in doubles. Although Ushna has secured many awards and honours under her hood, a few of her most aspiring achievemnets includes the two Bronze Medals she secured for Pakistan in 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati India, 2016., she represented Pakistan in FED CUP WOMEN consecutively for 6 years (2011-2016) in India, Kazakistan, China and Thailand, and winning maximum singles and double matches for Pakistan against competing countries. Ushna remains the first woman in Pakistan’s history who represented the country in Asian Games in 2014 and the first ever Pakistani girl to win at 15 years age, reaching second round by defeating a foreign player in ITF PRO Women’s Circuit.

However, every win, every step closer to success comes with a price. Ushna’s journey is an epitome of inspiration to millions of girls who aspire to break through the status quo and set foot in the real world like a warrior. As per Ushna, she faced a lot of criticism, pessimism and financial struggles during her early years of the tennis journey. Yet, with time she has adapted to the gender biased roles in the society and learned to keep moving on. During her lecture session she emphasized on the need for respecting society’s values but never settling for anything that counteracts your self-worth.

The event was attended by student body of AIESEC and other visitors who could very well relate to Ushna’s struggles as a student and a young female with passion for a sport which still lacks the value it deserves in Pakistan, “You will get hit many times in life, and there will be times when you’ll be pushed to the pit. But, it doesn’t matter how many times you get hit, what matters is your will to get back and keep moving ahead against all the odds.”