Brunel becomes the first university to launch a sports hijab
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Brunel University has launched a sports hijab for in the hope of increasing participation amongst its hijabi students. A study found that sports participation was the lowest amongst Muslim women than any other religious group. Only 18% of Muslim women take part in weekly sports compared to 42% of those who state they are not religious. Ranjeet Rathore, who is the current SU President and a key driver of the campaign explained that Brunel 'is one of only four UK universities to offer a free sports programme.' The university noticed a gap in female sports participation. "When we narrowed it down, we found the main gap to be in BAME female sports participation - specifically, we found there to be a barrier to Muslim women taking part in team sport. "Of course, they were participating in sports on their own and in private, but they weren't really going out to competitions, or using sport as a social tool to get involved in activities." The sports hijab comes in two sizes and is designed with the university logo along with the slogan 'team Brunel.' There are plans to release a range of colours. They are currently being sold through the student union although they do not appear on the union shop website. Business Management student Faith Al Saad says she is one-hundred percent confident that the new initiative will encourage her peers into doing a sport. Brunel hopes that other universities will follow suit and make sports more accessible to their students. According to Rathore, other institutions want to partner with Brunel to create their own hijabs. Image credit: Brunel University London
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