33-year-old woman leads men’s basketball team in Bahrain
A woman from Bahrain broke gender barriers and became a coach for a men’s basketball team, amid acceptance and understanding between her and the team members after her ability to lead was questioned.
33-year-old Fatima Reyadh is making new history by being the first woman to take the position of assistant coach for Al-Najma Basketball Club in the Bahraini capital, Manama.
The mother of a seven-year-old girl, Fatima told AFP that, “In the beginning there were misgivings, but I proved with my efforts and dedication that all the speculations that questioned my ability to lead the team, were wrong.”
One of the challenges Fatima faced at the beginning of her sports career was the lack of “acceptance as it is now,” she says, adding, “It was strange for women to be involved in sports, especially basketball, because it was the preserve of men.”
Fatima is also a Taekwondo black belt, aims to become head coach of the basketball team one day and then bring home the national championship.
Fatima started her career by training young girls. Before this assignment she used to train a group of young boys.
Fatima’s love for basketball goes back to her childhood when she accompanied her mother to the headquarters of a women’s basketball club, where she worked as a coach for the team.
To add to her long list of achievements, a stroll through her IG shows Fatima as a very athletic and charismatic person. Besides basketball, Fatima also cycles, runs and plays tennis.
It is reported that 33 per cent of women work in Bahrain and hold 54 per cent of various professional positions, while four women lead different ministries in the Kingdom of Bahrain.