“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 ladies enjoying sports activities has change into extra frequent on our screens. When Fitriya Mohamed moved to Toronto from Ethiopia on the age of ten, she entered a world that was already encouraging women to play sports activities. She beloved the sport and knew immediately that she was made for it. Often discovering that she was the one black Hijab-wearing Muslim girl, she made it her mission to combat exclusivity and create area for Muslim ladies in sports activities. Her dream led to the delivery of MWSBL – Muslim Women Summer Basketball League – a non-profit Muslim ladies sports activities league creating inclusive area, mentorship and fostering sisterhood by means of 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 short interview with Fitriya, and right here’s every 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 fitness center trainer, the chance that was offered to me and the ladies in my fitness center class once I first arrive in Canada and started attending faculty for the primary time. Back dwelling, in Oromia, Ethiopia, it was not standard to see women enjoying sport so once I noticed this chance, I used to be actually simply excited to strive it. I’d say I loved the competitiveness and physicality of the game and wished to proceed enjoying afterwards. Also, I continued enjoying through the years as a result of I discovered the well being advantages of collaborating in sports activities and the completely different abilities I used to be creating comparable to management, teamwork and confidence.
TMWT: Would you say that your faith or your overseas 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 acquired 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 group 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 fallacious.
TMWT: What facets of team-playing would you say align together with your private/non secular morals?
Fitriya Mohamed: Sisterhood. Diversity. Sportsmanship. Healthy way of life (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 at all times 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, trying 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/group help and lack of area/entry/ alternatives for Muslim ladies to pursue sports activities.
TMWT: You based MWSBL – Muslim Women Summer Basketball League in Canada to assist convey Muslim ladies collectively and foster solidarity. What would you say the Idea of inclusivity and Representation in Sports means to you and the way vital is it?
Fitriya Mohamed: I consider inclusivity and illustration in sport are vital as a result of sport might be
seen as being a mirror of our society, due to this fact, must mirror our society in methods comparable to acknowledging that sure teams in our society may 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 great thing about sport and I consider sports activities organizations, sport governing our bodies and policymakers have a giant function in making certain this.
TMWT: It could also be exhausting to select only one, however for those who might choose the primary one which involves thoughts which achievement in your profession or private endeavours holds essentially the most sentimental worth to you? and why?
Fitriya Mohamed: One achievement in my profession that holds essentially the most sentimental worth to me is receiving
Female Athlete Of The Year in my graduating 12 months of High School. First, I used to be the primary Muslim girl to win this award at my highschool. Second, I labored actually exhausting that 12 months academically and with sports activities, and the opposite nominees had been deserving of the award as nicely so successful it was actually a giant accomplishment of mine and holds sentimental worth to me.
TMWT: Masha Allah, you’re the excellent instance of a girl combining her abilities and abilities with activism, group work and charity. Which ladies are your fixed inspirations and supporters?
Fitriya Mohamed: Alhamdulillah! It is all as a consequence of Allah, I actually respect the type phrases/assertion. In brief, WOC and Muslim ladies in all places encourage me as a result of I do know it’s not straightforward to be in rooms the place we don’t see others that appear like us however they’re out right here making look straightforward.
TMWT is a web-based media platform spotlighting the tales of Muslim ladies of the previous and current. We purpose to be some of the authoritative and informative guides to what’s occurring on the earth of Muslim ladies. 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.