Uniforms Designed for Muslim Girls Allow Easier Movement in Sports
New uniforms, designed for a Minneapolis-based community traveling basketball team composed of mostly Muslim girls, allow for easier, more comfortable movement and play, while adhering to the customs of traditional Muslim culture.
Traditionally, Muslim women must cover their heads and bodies in front of men. As a result, it can be difficult to participate in typical sports activities while wearing hijabs, or headscarves, and long skirts and dresses.
Debuted during a June fashion show, the two uniform designs made from breathable fabric cover the girls’ arms, legs, hair and necks, and include a Velcro headscarf, leggings and a knee-length tunic for easier maneuverability, according to Newsweek. One uniform is teal and black with stripes, and the other is a bright red basketball uniform for the Lady Warriors traveling team.
The team, which consists of girls in grades four through eight, is a result of Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports (GIRLS), a community program founded by a then-college student in 2008. GIRLS provides practice time strictly for girls, so they can wear more comfortable clothing when not in the presence of men. In order to play as a traveling team, though, they would have to return to more traditional attire. And so the plans for new uniforms began.
The uniforms allow for the girls to remain covered, while being able to safely play the game—from dribbling through their legs to jumping for the ball to running without tripping.
The design was a collaboration effort from the players, coaches and community members, as well as the University of Minnesota’s College of Design and Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport.