“I felt like I had to always prove myself to people that “I am an athlete” as a result of they
had by no means seen a Hijabi athlete earlier than.”
– Fitriya Mohamed
The world round us is altering. The sight of women and younger girls enjoying sports activities has turn out to be extra widespread on our screens. When Fitriya Mohamed moved to Toronto from Ethiopia on the age of ten, she entered a world that was already encouraging ladies to play sports activities. She beloved the sport and knew instantly that she was made for it. Often discovering that she was the one black Hijab-wearing Muslim girl, she made it her mission to struggle exclusivity and create house for Muslim girls in sports activities. Her dream led to the beginning of MWSBL – Muslim Women Summer Basketball League – a non-profit Muslim girls sports activities league creating inclusive house, mentorship and fostering sisterhood by basketball. According to her, “Creating this space as a non-profit meant that people didn’t have to worry about the financial burden.” To discover out extra about her journey, TMWT had a quick interview with Fitriya, and right here’s every little thing she needed to say:
TMWT: What would you say impressed your curiosity in basketball and the way did that evolve through the years?
Fitriya Mohamed: I used to be impressed by my gymnasium trainer, the chance that was offered to me and the ladies in my gymnasium class once I first arrive in Canada and started attending faculty for the primary time. Back dwelling, in Oromia, Ethiopia, it was not ordinary to see ladies enjoying sport so once I noticed this chance, I used to be actually simply excited to attempt it. I’d say I loved the competitiveness and physicality of the game and needed to proceed enjoying afterwards. Also, I continued enjoying through the years as a result of I discovered the well being advantages of taking part in sports activities and the completely different abilities I used to be growing equivalent to management, teamwork and confidence.
TMWT: Would you say that your faith or your international heritage made you completely different out of your teammates?
Fitriya Mohamed: Absolutely, however I didn’t let my distinction cease me from pursuing sports activities. More so, with
my teammates, the love and help I obtained from them inspired me to proceed enjoying. On the opposite hand, I used to be discouraged on a number of events by members of my neighborhood and members of the family, as a result of to them, “sport is for boys, not girls”. I used to be advised to give attention to different issues that may get me someplace. They tried to make use of faith to exemplify their reasonings however that didn’t make sense to me as a result of deep down, I knew what I used to be doing was not improper.
TMWT: What points of team-playing would you say align together with your private/spiritual morals?
Fitriya Mohamed: Sisterhood. Diversity. Sportsmanship. Healthy life-style (mentally, bodily and emotionally) Peace and kindness.
TMWT: Did you face any resistance as a Muslim girl in sports activities?
Fitriya Mohamed: I felt like I needed to all the time show myself to those who “I am an athlete” as a result of they
have by no means seen a Hijabi athlete earlier than. Also, wanting completely different made me a straightforward goal when in sporting environments however I didn’t let the eye cease me from pursuing what I beloved most. Other challenges embrace lack of illustration in sport, lack of household/neighborhood help and lack of house/entry/ alternatives for Muslim girls to pursue sports activities.
TMWT: You based MWSBL – Muslim Women Summer Basketball League in Canada to assist convey Muslim girls collectively and foster solidarity. What would you say the Idea of inclusivity and Representation in Sports means to you and the way necessary is it?
Fitriya Mohamed: I imagine inclusivity and illustration in sport are necessary as a result of sport could be
considered as being a mirror of our society, due to this fact, must replicate our society in methods equivalent to acknowledging that sure teams in our society might have lodging to take part in sports activities however that doesn’t imply they must be excluded. Also, as some could argue that “sport is for all” and due to this fact, everybody must be given the chance to find the fantastic thing about sport and I imagine sports activities organizations, sport governing our bodies and policymakers have a giant position in guaranteeing this.
TMWT: It could also be arduous to choose only one, however for those who might decide the primary one which involves thoughts which achievement in your profession or private endeavours holds probably the most sentimental worth to you? and why?
Fitriya Mohamed: One achievement in my profession that holds probably the most sentimental worth to me is receiving
Female Athlete Of The Year in my graduating yr of High School. First, I used to be the primary Muslim girl to win this award at my highschool. Second, I labored actually arduous that yr academically and with sports activities, and the opposite nominees have been deserving of the award as effectively so profitable it was actually a giant accomplishment of mine and holds sentimental worth to me.
TMWT: Masha Allah, you’re the excellent instance of a lady combining her abilities and skills with activism, neighborhood work and charity. Which girls are your fixed inspirations and supporters?
Fitriya Mohamed: Alhamdulillah! It is all because of Allah, I actually respect the sort phrases/assertion. In quick, WOC and Muslim girls in every single place encourage me as a result of I do know it’s not simple to be in rooms the place we don’t see others that seem like us however they’re out right here making look simple.
TMWT is a web-based media platform spotlighting the tales of Muslim girls of the previous and current. We intention to be one of the vital authoritative and informative guides to what’s occurring on the planet of Muslim girls. We hope to cowl key points, spark debates, progressive concepts and provocative subjects to get the Muslim world speaking. We need to set agendas and discover concepts to enhance the lives and wellbeing of Muslim Women.