8/24/10

Yanit voted European Female Athlete of the Month for July - European Athletics (EAA)

European Athletics is pleased to announce that Turkish hurdler Nevin Yanit have been voted as the European Female Athlete of the Month for July.
The 24-year-old Yanit went into the history books as Turkey’s first sprint hurdles champion after clocking a national record 12.63 in Barcelona.
It was a great turnaround in fortunes for an athlete who had failed to even finish in her heat in Göteborg four years ago.
The European Athlete of the Month initiative was launched in January 2007 and is designed to recognise outstanding performers at all levels of the sport in Europe. European Athletics names a male and female winner each month and features the athlete on the European Athletics website. Selections are based on votes by the public, media and a panel of European Athletics experts – each counting for 33.3% of the final vote. No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for or win the European Athlete of the Month award.

2010 previous winners:
MonthMale
CountryFemaleCountry
JuneTeddy TamghoFRAAnita WlodarczykPOL
MayAndreas ThorkildsenNORJessica EnnisGBR
AprilGerd KanterESTLiliya ShobukhovaRUS
MarchTeddy Tamgho
FRAJessica EnnisGBR
FebruaryDavid GillickIRLElvan AbeylegesseTUR
JanuaryIvan Ukhov
RUSJessica Ennis
GBR
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 30: Nevin Yanit of Turkey competes in the Womens 100m Hurdles Heats during day four of the 20th European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.

Source: European Athletics (EAA) - News
video

8/17/10

Montreal's Muslim soccer league wraps up successful season


Montreal's only soccer league that accepts hijab-wearing teens wrapped up its season this past weekend.

The Muslim Youth Soccer League was created when players were barred from FIFA-sanctioned tournaments because the sport's governing body ruled that hijabs posed an injury risk to players.

Raghad Abu-Thuraia was one player who found herself excluded after the ruling.

"They're like 'maybe because pins could fall off,' and I was like 'I can tuck this in I'm wearing like two pieces,' and they're like 'I'm sorry," said Raghad.

When his sister could no longer play for Pierrefonds, Musab Nabil Abu-Thuraia created the MYSL.

"We started with 50 players and right now we have 250 players ages five and up," said Abu-Thuraia.

He says that over the past two years, the league has helped unite Montreal's Muslim community.

"Keep our differences aside, bring our cultures, learn about each other and unite as one community as Muslim-Canadians," said Abu-Thuraia.

Players like Basma Salame say as a way of meeting other Muslims, the league is very effective.

"I met new people from here and you don't know how many Muslims there are until you join a community that brings them all together," Salame said.

"It was all about having fun."

However the league is inclusive, and open to all players, Muslim or not.

Jessica Avalos plays in the league, and says there is nowhere else she'd rather play.

"No one's telling you you're not allowed to do something," said Avalos. "I really like it, it's free, open."

Source: http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100817/mtl_muslimsoccer_100817/20100817/?hub=MontrealHome

8/15/10

More Pictures of Muslim Sportswomen From Youth Olympics

The girls soccer team of Iran pose for photographers during the Youth Olympics Games Girls' Preliminaries Group A soccer match between Turkey and Iran on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Nastaran Moradloo of Iran, left, and Eda Duran of Turkey, right, run for the ball during the Youth Olympics Games Girls' Preliminaries Group A soccer match between Turkey and Iran on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Eda Karatas of Turkey reacts during the Youth Olympics Games Girls' Preliminaries Group A soccer match between Turkey and Iran on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Egyptian woman will make history at Youth Olympics


SINGAPORE — When Jihan El Midany leads the Egyptian delegation into Saturday's opening ceremony of the inaugural Youth Olympics, it will be a historic moment for her country.

The 18-year-old pentathlete will become the first woman from Egypt to serve as a flag bearer at an Olympic event. And if she wins a medal as expected in the competition that includes swimming, shooting, fencing and running, she would be the first woman from her country to do so at an Olympic event.

El Midany said she hopes her prominent role will inspire girls across the Muslim world to take up sports.

"I'm hoping I can be a good role model," El Midany said Friday as she walked through the athletes' village. "I want to prove that the veil does not have to prevent girls from doing anything."

The Youth Olympics, which runs through Aug. 26, features about 3,600 competitors aged 14 to 18 from 204 countries competing in the same 26 sports on the current Summer Olympics program.

El Midany's success comes at a time when girls across the Muslim world are making historic progress in sports, starting soccer leagues and competing in boxing and wrestling. That would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

For the first time, Qatar is sending girls to an Olympic competition. And Iranians agreed to send a girls soccer team after reaching a compromise that allows them to wear hats rather than the banned head scarves.

Yet many girls still face insurmountable hurdles, from conservative societies that frown on sports to families that would rather keep their daughters at home. El Midan almost abandoned the pentathlon this year after the sports governing body required athletes to wear swimsuits that exposed the neck, shoulder and legs. It's less modest than the suit she wore that covered the entire body.

El Midany said she was "disappointed" by the ruling, but got the blessing of her family and sporting authorities to compete in Singapore. She admits feeling "uncomfortable" in the new suit, but knows the swimming event doesn't last long.

Sharif A. El-Erain, the vice president of the Egyptian Federation of Modern Pentathlon, acknowledges it is much harder to recruit girls than boys. He's hoping El Midany's success will bring the federation more attention, more money and more female athletes.

"For me, that is a dream," he said of an Egyptian woman winning a medal. "We came so close in the last Olympics, so if we can make it here, it would be great. It will get us more recognition."

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Aya Medany finished eighth in the pentathlon.

While El Midany was talking of making history, most athletes had their sights on more modest goals — winning medals, reaching personal bests and making friends. Many athletes spent Friday training and mingling with teammates at the sprawling village housed at a local university.

Some critics have derided the new event as little more than a summer camp with little support from local Singaporeans. But there was no indication that the athletes were taking the event lightly.

"This is the closest thing to the Olympics. It's the junior Olympics," said American Amber Bryant-Brock, a 16-year-old 400-meter hurdler. "This is big. I'm anxious and I'm ready to compete. It's scary because it's anybody's race."

Simone Meyer, a 17-year-old South African discus thrower, called the competition a "road to 2012," referring to the London Olympics. She's the top discus thrower in her country's age group.

"It will be a great experience," she said. "It's an opportunity of a lifetime. You will learn so much."

For Armando Moss of the Bahamas, competing in the first Youth Olympics will be satisfaction enough. The 18-year-old swimmer said he hopes to finish in the top eight in two events.

"This is the biggest meet of my life," Moss said. "I'm taking it seriously. It's an honor to be in the first Youth Olympics. My name will go down in history for being part of it."

Source: The Associated Press

8/13/10

The Islamic Federation of Women Sport (IFWS) Is Shut Down Due to Budget Cuts

Fararu - The Islamic Federation of Women['s] Sport (IFWS) [http://www.ifws.org/], headed by Faezeh Hashmi, was shut down due to the National Olympics Committee not paying it's budget.
The IFWS announced in a statement that the federation's budget, which should be allocated based on clause 16 of article 3 of the statue of the National Olympics Committee, has not been payed since the beginning of the current [Persian] year [March 21st]. Also the contracts of four employees of this office have not been extended, unlike previous years, and the rest of personnel have been summoned to the [National Olympics] committee, leaving the office with no practical means to continue its activities.

The statement continues: it is an obvious fact that this federation does not belong to Faezeh Hashemi [footnote: A reference to the possibility that these events may be politically motivated by those who oppose Faezeh Hashemi, and her father, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani.], but it belongs to Muslim women in Iran and throughout the world who have been able to reclaim part of their neglected rights directly or indirectly through the activities of this federation and its effects all over the world .

This federation was officially founded in a meeting of the executive board of the National Olympics Committee in 1990 and should have been funded by this Committee based on it's statue.
Source: http://www.ifws.org/, Translated by Sara Khoshid Doost

8/12/10

Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman by Sheema Khan

In 2002, The Globe and Mail asked columnist Sheema Khan to share her personal insights on Islam and Muslim life in the wake of 9/11. Of Hockey and Hijab, a compilation of these essays, is provocative, intelligent, and – given the thorny nature of the issues explored – surprisingly accessible. Each concise piece looks at a political, religious, or social issue, and succeeds in bringing both wisdom and humour to subjects the average newspaper reader might shy away from.
The collection covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from the Maher Arar affair to a woman’s right to wear a hijab while playing soccer. Khan fearlessly confronts Islamophobia head on, advising readers not to make damaging generalizations while expressing her disdain for the rise of terror and fanaticism. The final section of the book, “The Rights of Women,” dissects some of the more controversial and misunderstood issues around religious patriarchy and sexism.
Khan has a knack for exposing the hypocrisy of public perception and media interpretation. In “What Close-minded Liberals Can Learn from a Rape Victim,” she calls out liberals and progressives who fail to see that their so-called “open-mindedness” is actually limited to those who share similar world-views. She eviscerates the popular belief that devout Muslim women are “poor ill-informed souls” who have no ability to think for themselves. For many, she argues, a secular outlook can be dissatisfying, and she points out that denying someone’s choice to seek out spiritual fulfillment is the furthest thing from progressive.
There are readers who might find Kahn a bundle of contradictions: a modern liberal scholar, a hockey and soccer mom, and a practising Muslim. For that very reason, hers is a voice rarely heard in mainstream media, and her contribution to our ongoing cultural conversation is a valuable one. As Khan herself puts it, without taking the time to recognize the multifaceted nature of the issues at hand, we are in danger of becoming “casual observers who assume so much and know so little.”
Reviewed by Stacey May Fowles

8/4/10

Morocco takes gold in 400m race

Morocco's quest to win more medals in the Senior Africa athletics Championship was boosted on the final day on Sunday as Hayat Lambarki won the women's 400m hurdle.

It was always going to be a close contest with Nigeria and Liberia seeking to exert their dominance in the sprint hurdle race. But at the first bent, Lambark had gained the edge over her rivals and relaxed.

Nigeria's Ajoke Odumosu started eating up the gap and by the third bent was level with the Moroccan while Maureen Jelegat of Kenya emerged from behind to claw her way into contention.

As the trio came for the final straight, it was Lambarki who was stronger to win in 55.96 second while Odumosu was the silver medalist in 55.97 with Jelegat winning a rare medal for Kenya in the sprints as she came in third for the bronze in 56.74.

Liberia's Kuo Lougon was fourth in 57.17 ahead of Burundi's Aissata Soulama 57.19 while Madagascar's Olga Razanamalala 57.51 was sixth. Wenda Theron of South Africa 57.70 was seventh with Carole Made Kaboud 58.05 finishing last.
Women's 400m hurdles gold winner Hayat Lambarki of Morocco (C) poses on the podium with her compatriot and silver medallist Lamia el-Habz (L) and bronze winner Faiza Jumaa Omar of Sudan during the 16th Arab Atheltics Championships in Damascus on October 9, 2009.