First Annual Muslim Women’s Sport Day
American Muslim women’s participation in sports has recently experienced a rise in media visibility. Whether it is ESPN’s feature on W. Deen Muhammad High School’s outstanding girls’ basketball team, the Lady Caliphs, or the recently publicized struggle of competitive weightlifter, Kulsoom Abdullah, to compete in modest Islamic gear, Atlanta seems to be an emergent hot spot for displaying Muslim women’s athleticism. Away from the cameras and competition, though, in the bustling huddle of our work-a-day communities, there are plenty of “weekend wajida’s” ready to play, too.
Earlier this month the Ahmadiyaa Muslim community in North Metro Atlanta hosted their First Annual Muslim Women’s Sports Day. Having secured a private gym in a local YMCA, the organizers invited Muslim and non-Muslim women from all over the Atlanta area. Here in our secluded area of the facility hijabs and burqas were exchanged for tee shirts, tennis shoes, jogging pants, stopwatches, and whistles. By the time I arrived, there were bouncy chattering pre-teens, confident teenagers (who appeared to be fresh from some other sports team practice), and adult women of all shapes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds preparing to participate.