Stine Hovland - Norway
I am Stine Hovland. I am 28 years old, and play for Sandviken in Norway. I play in the Norwegian top division called “Toppserien”. I am an educated pre-school teacher and work in a kindergarten. But I have chosen to get permission from my work to have all my focus on the upcoming World Cup. The last few months I have been a full time professional and have only focused on my football. That has been fantastic.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with any of the photos?
I tried to express how we are in our club and different situations from the life we experience in Sandviken - everything from training sessions with the whole team to training sessions on my own and voluntary work.
What is your favourite photo? Why?
You can see some of my teammates playing with a ball in the harbour of Bergen. The harbor of Bergen is the symbol of Bergen and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Norway. It was taken when we were working on a promotional video for a match. We thought this symbolized Sandviken in a good way, where we expressed football in beautiful surroundings.
What has been your football journey up until now?
I started to play football when I was six years old and it has been my passion since then. I had my debut for the national team when I was 27. So it has been many years with hard work before it really paid off. For me football is joy and many, many friendships. It has cost me a lot of time with friends and family throughout the years, but it has all been worth it when I end up with playing for Norway, and represent my country in a World Cup.
What does football mean to you?
Football is a big part of my life, and has been since I was young. For me the importance of having fun together has driven me forward, but also to succeed on my own and with common goals.
What are the opportunities for female footballers in Norway?
The possibility to play football in Norway becomes better and better every year. Many big sponsors support women’s football, and make it easier to be a professional. It is still in an early stage, but during the last year many things have happened in women’s football in Norway. I hope and believe that this development will continue in the future.
What is the future for Norwegian women's football?
I think that women’s football in Norway will continue to develop. It is important to see how other countries develop, and learn from that, keeping us even with the other countries.
What do you expect to change after the 2019 WWC?
I think that the World Cup will give women’s football a massive boost, and that more people will have their eyes on the sport, and see how fun it is to both watch and play.
What does your family think of your job as a professional soccer player?
My family has always supported me. My mum and dad always brought me to training and supported me, which means a lot to me. I also have a brother who plays football at a high level and knows how a performance culture works. It is really nice to get support and good advice after both good and bad experiences.
What’s one thing you always do before a game?
Before matches I always listen to loud music!