The women of today have come a long way on what they were branded to do to what they do now. It is clear that female athletes have well established themselves in the sports world. From dictated by the society to be quiet, obedient, attractive nurturers, these women are becoming a legend of their own. They proved that in the end, winning does not depend on being male or female. Watch them as they break down barriers and stereotypes in the sporting world.
Women’s Basketball today has changed. Views about women’s physical appearance, athletic ability, and participation in sports, are evident through their increased involvement in the field. People’s perceptions may not have changed much but as more and more women play basketball, the more the society is accepting that they are gold at what they do.
The BAPCO ladies team commenced in 2012 and was officially registered with the Bahrain Basketball Association in 2013. We had a conversation with two of the BAPCO Basketball Team, and their passion for the sport is contagious.
ON HOW IT STARTED
Zahra Ghanbari: The very first sport I played was netball when I was living in New Zealand. Netball and basketball are somewhat similar. However, I had to stop playing when my family decided to move to the U.A.E. When I started school, I had no friends, and it became very lonely. I then decided to join the basketball team (having no experience playing basketball), and it really helped me in socialising and making friends. The team I played with became a family throughout my school years, and that’s all thanks to the beautiful sport of basketball.
Arwa Hossam Ali: I joined the basketball team in my first year of university. It was like love at first game. From that moment, I knew I wanted to make this my main game and be the best in it. Basketball gave me the chance to show all my skills more than any other sports, that’s why for me, it’s unique.
ON GENDER STEREOTYPES
Zahra Ghanbari: Generally, people assume that basketball is a men’s sport. One of those people is my dad. However, I didn’t let that get to me. I joined the basketball club in the U.A.E at an early age and continued it when I moved to Bahrain by joining BAPCO ladies basketball team. Lucky for the female basketball players in Bahrain, there are many supporters of the Female Basketball League.
Arwa Hossam Ali: I don’t focus on the stereotypes. Instead, I seek for an inspiration continuously. I look up to the people who have achieved what I would like to be in the future. I use this as an inspiration. I prefer no gender because I honestly believe that any individual can achieve anything if he or she just have confidence in it.
Zahra Ghanbari: I have a full-time job, but I make sure to attend most of the practices. We practice three times a week. Our practices are not only filled with practising basketball but our coach (Murteza Mohammed) also makes sure that we have our share of cardio, strength exercises, and circuit training, all while practising our defence, offence, dribbling, and more!
Arwa Hossam Ali: If you really want something, you will do everything in your power to make it work. It all takes time management and a consistent schedule. We have training three times a week that lasts an hour and a half. It’s an intense practice as we train for particular skill followed by a few minutes of game time. Our training is tough but fun to share with my co-players which I always look forward to.
ON ADVICE TO WOMEN IN SPORTS
Zahra Ghanbari: Practice really does make perfect. If you keep trying, practising and devoting your time to basketball, you can become something big.
Arwa Hossam Ali: My advice is always to work hard and to never give up after a failure. The more you fail, the closer you get to succeed.
THE COACH SAYS…
THE BEST THING ABOUT THE TEAM
Coach Murtez is proud to be coaching such a well-driven and successful team. He described them as respectful and hardworking. “They care about each other, and they push each other to greatness!” he said.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
The areas that need improvement is the team’s shooting skills. The team has to be more exposed to leagues which will make them gain more experience. The more they play and practice, the more they become skilled.
COACHING AN ALL FEMALE TEAM
Coach Murtez doesn’t go easy with the team. Gone are the days when we think that women are feeble. There is no difference in gender when it comes to basketball players, and they all get the same treatment.