Meet the woman who eliminated the hijab ban in professional basketball and won the Rising Star in Sports Award
- 08 March 2019
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A winner of this year’s British Muslim Awards, Hijab-clad basketball player Asma Elbadawi has become a role model for many Muslim women in Britain and elsewhere.
Asma who won the award for Rising Star in Sports said, “We campaigned to FIFA to allow Muslim women to wear the hijab in professional basketball, which was a global campaign over two years, and we won in the end…. I try to play it (basketball) now, it’s a big hard with work, but I still try to play when I can.”
“About the other day…. honoured to have won the rising star in Sport award. Thank you to however nominated me and everyone for the love and support,” Asma wrote on her Facebook page after receiving the award.
Hailing from a Sudanese background, Asma is a member of the Bradford Cobras basketball club, a grassroots team who has campaigned to lift a years-long ban on the wearing of hijab and other religious headgears in sports.
As a result of the campaign, the Basketball governing body, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), lifted the ban in 2014 and allowed players to wear Hijab and other religious headwear on the field.
“When I think about it, [when I was younger] I had assumed that because I hadn’t seen sportswomen wearing hijabs on TV that there was something against it in our religion,” Elbadawi says.
“I had assumed that women were expected to retain their modesty and playing sport didn’t align with that.”
Asma is determined to continue her role in encouraging young Muslim girls in sport as a coach, mentor and adviser.
“The challenge now will be in re-educating our community about the benefits of sport and what it means for a girl to be able to take part.”
An accomplished spoken word poet, the young Muslim basket player also won BBC Radio 1Xtra’s ‘Words First’ 2015 Competition.
This article was originally published on aboutislam.net