Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Donate to Send the Somali Womens Basketball Team to the Arab Games by Su’ad Galow

Dear Friends,

To donate Click Here

I’m a Somali American born in Sool and raised in Mogadishu. I began playing basketball at the age of 7 and credit the sport with providing me with an education, respect, joy and lasting friendships. I am dedicated to empowering Somali girls through sport so that they may enjoy the same benefits as I did.

In the 1980s, I was captain and player on the Somali Women’s National Basketball Team. Our strong government supported us with the freedom to play and that led me to earn a scholarship at University of District of Columbia in America. In 1991, soon after I arrived in America, civil war broke out and prevented me from returning to Somalia until 2009.

I was shocked and saddened to find that the Al Shabab extremist group forbids girls from playing sport and regularly threatens, injures and murders girls who dare to play. At great risk to myself and the players, I am developing the game from grassroots to elite levels by recruiting players, training coaches across all states of Somalia, and building courts and gyms in secure environments.

Ultimately, my goal is to nurture skilled players who form a new and thriving Somalia Women’s National Basketball Team.

In December 2016, my “Empowering young Somali women through Sports and Peace Project” made history as the first Somali Federal Women’s Basketball Tournament. After one year of planning and three trips to Somalia, we were able to bring together six different states of Somalia and Somali diaspora players from the USA and Canada all in the city of Garowe. With the generous support of USAID we built a basketball court in Garowe and carried out the tournament.

The project was a changemaker in terms of re-opening the door to women and girls’ participation in sports in Somalia on both the professional and amateur levels. More than 400 girls watched the games and (NUMBER OF PLAYERS of girls played on the NUMBER OF TEAMS). There was a wonderful groundswell of excitement from the community.

Before the tournament, the Somali Basketball Federation website averaged only three visits per month but hit 2.9 million visitors during the tournament.

In October 2017, I also recruited and coached a combination of Somali natives and Somali diaspora players for a team that competed in the All Arab Games. It was the first Somali team to enter the Games, because the long-standing hijab ban of FIBA (international basketball governing board) was overturned earlier in the year. That allowed our girls to compete wearing the hijab. However, we came up against another FIBA rule that did not permit the girls to play with arms and legs covered – which is another stricture of our religion. Some of our players declined to play for fear that exposing their arms and legs could lead to criticism, physical abuse and even death when they returned to their home states.

In February 2018, our Womens Team will make history again by competing in the 4th Arab Women Sports Tournament in Dubai. We are asking for your support in helping us ensure the funds to get there.

$75 will pay for accommodations for one of our players for 1 day
$150 will provide one of our players a uniform
$1125 will pay for accommodations for one of our players for the entire tournament
$13,500 will pay for accommodations for our whole team for the entire tournament

Thank you for all of your support and for joining our mission to empower Somali girls through sport!

Wakhtiyada Salaada

Prayer Times For 6 Million Cities Worldwide

Soomaali Halaysla Doono-Saado Cali


Leave a Reply