Sports

Nike Announces First ‘Pro Hijab’ for Female Muslim Athletes

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Fitness and religion came together exquisitely this week as the billion dollar sportswear company, Nike, announced the release of their first ever Pro Hijab collection for female Muslim athletes.

For years not only has religious wear been controversial in competitive sports but has been under-represented by major sports-clothing corporations. Small businesses and less popular companies have been supplying the needs of Muslim athletes, such as the other Oregon-based brand Oiselle, who designed the uniform for one of two women to represent Saudi Arabia in the 2012 Olympics, Sarah Attar.

“This movement first permeated international consciousness in 2012, when a hijabi runner took the global stage in London”, reads a statement from Nike confirming Attar was the influence behind their recent business moves.

During development stages, the Nike performance hijab was tried on and tested by a group of phenomenal female athletes who are also Muslim. Among this group of women were runner and triathlete Manal Rostom and Zahra Lari, the first figure skater from the United Arab Emirates to compete internationally.

Rostom took to WhatsApp to explain the importance of this movement. “There weren’t any hijabi athletes to look up to when I was growing up, and I had to be my own pioneer, and now girls today have women like Amna Al Haddad and Zahra Lari to look to as role models, which is so inspiring,” she wrote. “For young girls to see these women and to see this revolutionary shift will change the face of sport for Muslim Arab girls, whether they wear hijab or not.”

By spring 2018 this light-weight hijab that includes an extended back and small holes for airflow will be released in three neutral colors and with the trademark Nike ‘swoosh’ above the left ear. Muslim women around the world will now have the option to workout, compete and exercise their religion comfortably the Nike way.

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