For the group of young Muslim girls on the Lady Warriors basketball team in Minnesota, finding culturally sensitive athletic wear was no easy feat. The girls, who play at a community center that hosts a program for culturally appropriate recreation, are mostly of East African descent living in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Minneapolis.
After struggling to play basketball in their long skirts and wraps, they decided their only option was to design uniforms that would allow them to play basketball (or soccer or baseball or swimming, etc.) all while being culturally appropriate.
Together with the help of the University of Minnesota College of Design and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, the girls were able to bring their designs to life. They debuted their uniforms, which now feature breathable fabrics, leggings, and tighter hijabs that are held in place with velcro, at a fashion show in June at the university. Their teal and black design, which consists of leggings and a tunic, can be worn for all sports, including swimming, which makes me wonder how no one has thought of that before.
Though being able to play their favorite sports all while being comfortable and culturally sensitive was their top priority, style was—of course—a major factor, with one girl telling AP, “I want to look good.”
And what better way to make that happen than to make the uniforms yourselves?