Muslim girls worked together with the University of Minnesota to make culturally appropriate basketball uniforms.
The Minneapolis Cedar Riverside girls’ community basketball team has struggled to play basketball freely. Their coach has noticed, and it was difficult to find a solution to the unravelling wraps and longer skirts that is culturally and religiously appropriate for Muslim women. At the Brian Coyle Community Center, 25 girls are participants in the Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports program, or G.I.R.L.S. The program was established by Fatimah Hussein in 2008 to give girls in the community a way to be more active, something many were excited to participate in.
The Community Project: New Uniforms
Though there was the problem, they were able to find a solution thanks to a community that rose up to support these middle-school girls. The University of Minnesota College of Design and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport collaborated with the girls for two years to get their new uniforms just right for their culture, religion and activity needs. It consisted of several community meetings in which the girls displayed design ideas, and received feedback from their parents, friends and other members of the community. The end result is amazing.
At 7 P.M. on June 10, the new uniforms were revealed in all their splendor. They held a fashion show at the University of Minnesota’s Rapson Hall in the Rapson Courtyard. The parents were proud, and the attire was awesome. Using an extremely breathable fabric, they created leggings, a flexible skirt that would allow them to move freely, a long-sleeve tunic-style top and a tighter hijab that had a Velcro closure for added security. The outfits were sewn by community volunteers and University students at the MosquShafici for the entire month of April. They are all eager to compete against other girls in other schools with their new basketball uniforms.