All things Muslim - incredible stories & positive vibes

Asma Elbadawi is More Than Just a Sports Star and a Poet

Asma Elbadawi, celebrated basketball player and coach, isn’t someone who likes to hear the word ‘can’t’. The 27-year-old from a Sudanese background recently generated a lot of attention when she successfully lobbied the international basketball association, FIBA, to remove a ban on hijabs and religious headwear.

Proving that one person can spark a change, she wrote passionately about how the ban affects her enjoyment of a sport which she loves. The result? She managed to get 130,000 people to sign an online petition, leading to FIBA overturning their decision.

Not content with just making an impact on the basketball court, however, she’s also making waves in the world of spoken word poetry. To mark last year’s Women’s Sport Week, the BBC published a poem she wrote about being a female Muslim basketball player. Later that year, BBC Three published another poem of hers – titled Boys Will Be Boys – about masculinity (below). Almost all of Asma’s poetry is rooted in raising awareness of important social issues, building bonds between different communities and shattering glass ceilings.

Elbadawi has spoken candidly about how, when she was growing up in Yorkshire, she felt that she had no relatable role models in popular culture. Adamant on changing this, she set out to “be the change she wished to see in the world”. She cites this as a primary motivation which fuels her obsession with achieving her very best in whatever she turns her hand to. And she’s not doing a bad job.

During a charitable placement in Tanzania, she worked with secondary schools to discuss gender issues and life skills with pupils. She ran a series of discussion groups which were inspired by her love for basketball. She began a basketball session for boys and girls based around the idea of gender equality and teamwork. “As a woman coaching the boys, I was the talk of the town. But they were totally fine with it,” she said. “They listened to me. No-one ever disrespected me. No-one ever shouted over me. Plus, they’d seen me play!”

Through her own persistence, Asma has been able to show that basketball is an inclusive sport, accepting of all regardless of faith or gender.

Want to know more about what Asma Elbadawi’s up to? You can follow her on Insta or Twitter.

Related Content

Sport
Muslim Women Making Their Mark In These 5 Sports
Muslim Women Making Their Mark In These 5 Sports

Muslim women from around the world are entering the sports arena more than ever before and rising swiftly to the top.

Sport
Basketball
All-Muslim Women’s Team in Leicester Welcomes Lift on Hijab …

The news is great for the global game. It’s even better for the Leicester Falcons, an all-female, all-Muslim team who formed in response to the rule change.

Sport
Bianca Elmir
Bianca Elmir: The Australian Boxer Fighting Misconceptions About Islam

The 35-year-old has firmly established herself in the sport in her country, and she now wants to use her position to inspire other women.

Recent Posts

Birmingham Teacher Behind Inclusiveness Club Shortlisted For ‘World’s Best Teacher’
Birmingham Teacher Behind Inclusiveness Club Shortlisted For ‘World’s Best Teacher’
Meet The Man Who Blesses Salmon
Meet The Man Who Blesses Salmon
Halal Dining Club Is Opening Up A World Of Halal Restaurants
Halal Dining Club Is Opening Up A World Of Halal Restaurants
Muslim Girls Fence: A New Initiative Empowering Young Muslim Women
Muslim Girls Fence: A New Initiative Empowering Young Muslim Women
Recognising Greatness In Light Of International Day of Disabled Persons
Recognising Greatness In Light Of International Day of Disabled Persons
The Muslim Teenager Who Dreams Of Being A Jockey
The Muslim Teenager Who Dreams Of Being A Jockey

Privacy Policy

Terms and Conditions