Achievements - Andrew Sawaya
on Sep 24 2016

Interview with Andrew Sawaya (April 19, 2016)

Young, talented and ambitious BHS Scholar and Football player, Andrew Sawaya, grandson of Mr. Emile Sawaya, son of Old Scholars Kameel Sawaya ’88 and Jenny Bu Hamad Sawaya ’90, was born on April 30, 2000 and from that very day, he was destined for great achievements.

I met Andrew for the first time last August during the BR1 OSA’s “Back to the Campfire 2015” and I was truly amazed by his character. This young man is very modest, smart, passionate, disciplined, helpful, and above all very kind.

This shining Football Star thought twice about it before he let me interview him, simply because he is very down to earth and did not want to be in the limelight. He has made it big, but for him this is only the beginning of his long journey and dream…

Ever since he was a child, his father, Kameel, has encouraged him to play football and in his words, “Andrew always had a football with him around the house, he took it everywhere, even in the car on our way to school. He even used to collect balls of all sizes. It was his obsession.”

Andrew plays with Athletico Club Beirut and has been on the team for the past 4 years, receiving the best training while participating in matches and camps locally and internationally.

Andrew is Little House. He was the Captain of the BHS Intermediate Section (Little). He is also part of the BHS Football Team; his number is 69, while at Athletico his team number is 7.

Andrew plays as left winger, though one of his greatest qualities as a footballer is that he is always able to fill in any gap on the field.


1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been at BHS, how old are you and what grade are you in?

I started at BHS at the nursery and remained till KGI, then we travelled to Dubai and came back in April 2012, that’s when I went back to BHS. I am 16 years old, currently moving to Grade 11.
In total I have spent 7 years at BHS to date.

2. When did you first discover your passion for football?

I was about 3 years old, I used to play at home with my dad. At that young age my dad registered me in Sagesse Academy, Lebanon for 1 summer.
Later at the age of 7 when we were in the UAE, I joined Al Ain Football Club. I made the first team and I was the only non-local on that team.

3. Tell us more about your Football journey since Al Ain Football Club to date.

I played with Al Ain Club for 5 years (age 7 – age 12). Upon our return to Lebanon in April 2012, I remember that the very next day we arrived, dad researched football teams and registered me with Athletico Club Beirut - the number one Football Academy in Lebanon - and I have been with them since.

4. Is being a football player one of your main life goals?


5. Will you take this to the next level and make it your career or do you see yourself going into another domain?

Yes, I am hoping to make it my career. I haven’t really thought about pursuing any other domain.

6. Who inspired you to do this? Was it your dad? If yes, how has he helped you get where you are now?

Yes, it was my dad. He has always given me the right motivation. He watched me on the field and always pointed out my mistakes by directly commenting. Dad is my second coach.

I think that my mother has always been a great support as well, always driving to games all over Lebanon when dad was working abroad.

7. In 2013 Fondation Saradar signed a sponsorship agreement with you, Kassem Hayek and Athletico Club Beirut. Please tell us more about this.

Audi Saradar always searches for young talented Lebanese Athletes. Kassem and I were chosen through the Football Academy and we signed the sponsorship for 1 year.

8. Has this affected you academically in any way? Has it affected the normalcy of your teenage life?

Upon our return to Lebanon and BHS, it affected me the first few months, especially when I joined the National Team, but then I improved gradually, and now, I am getting good grades.
Academically, football will be a main reason to get me into university in a few years.

As for my life as a teenager, yes, it has affected me and still is. I can only go out once a week as opposed to my friends, due to my training. I have a game every Sunday, so I have accustomed myself to go out only on Fridays. It doesn’t bother me because I chose this path.

9. Apart from teaching you discipline, has football added value to your life?

Football is my life and it’s everything to me. It has definitely added value by helping me build up my character and my body physically. It has made me who I am today.

10. With the help of Athletico Club Beirut, how many local and international camps have you participated in so far?

So far, I have participated in 1 local camp with the Lebanese National Team and 9 International Camps spread over Denmark, Prague, France, Sweden, Oman and Norway (6 countries). I’ve also participated in 2 other International Tournaments with the National Team and I have 1 with the Athletico Club this coming summer.

11. Name some of the awards or achievements that you find significant.

I got the MVP award during the National Tournament that was held in Lebanon in 2015 for all Football Clubs. In that same year, I was the top scorer on my team with Athletico while playing with team members who are 2 years older, I was the youngest.

Then again in 2016, I also received the MVP award during the IC Tournament as part of the BHS Football Team.

I am also proud to say that for the past 2 years I have been playing at the Lebanese Football Championship with an older age group as well.

I have also won a Cup for being a top scorer on one of my trips to Denmark.

12. Being the only BHS student who was made it this big in football, do your classmates and friends support you on this or do you hear negative comments from them?

Thankfully, all my friends are very supportive. They always encourage me to move forward. My teachers have also been very supportive and understanding academically, in addition to the constant support of our Principal, Dr. Walid El Khoury. The only negative thing for me is that although I am on the BHS Football Team, I end up missing a lot of the games due to my other matches.

13. Who is you idol in the world of Football? Why?

My idol would have to be David Beckham, simply because of his strategy. I like the way he gives long passes and how he has visibility outside the box on the field. I can relate a lot to him when it comes to tactics.

I am also quite fond of Michael Ballack, De Maria, and Neymar (who plays the same position as I do).

14. Who do you usually support in the World Cup? And who is you favourite team in Champions League?

Germany in the World Cup and Bayern Munich in Champions League. I take after my dad.

15. How would you rate yourself as a Football player?

On a scale of 1 – 10, I would say 8. I’m good, improving.

16. What would you like to say to other youngsters with similar dreams?

Always pursue your dreams and as dad always tells me, “Always look for what makes you happy, if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, stop it! Make sure you always listen to more experienced people.”


Thank you for granting us this interview Andrew, you are already a star.


Mona Karam ’00
OSA Community Manager

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