Varsity Series… Working out in a Hijab

So, my varsity series continues! This blog is for me, a super interesting one, it is focusing on people who wear a hijab working out.
Hijab’s in sport because big in 2016 at the Rio Olympics, when Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim women athlete competing for the USA to wear a hijab. When she was in the most talked about Olympians she wanted to really deflect from her religion and focus on competiting at the high-class level which she did, she won a bronze medal, by doing so, she made history as the first Muslim-American to win a medal at the Olympics.
During one of my classes at the Danielle Brown Sports Centre, I saw someone wearing a hijab, something which I had never seen before, I decided to ask her as to whether she would like to be involved in my varsity series which thankfully she did!
Alliya, a 20-year-old, Medicine student, decided to get involved in the blog! Thank you so much Alliya!
I asked Alliya what made her get into exercise as it is rare that you see many people working out in a Hijab particularly at the University gym, her response was:
I haven’t always been into exercise. I properly started whilst at university when I realised that I needed a work-life balance. I guess I exercise for the reasons everyone else exercises, to keep fit and healthy plus it’s really fun! I especially enjoy the group gym classes, the instructors are really motivating and push you to what you didn’t think you could do, which gives me a sense of achievement
I also asked Alliya whether she has received any funny looks or any racial abuse, her reply was this:
Thankfully no! I think everyone here is really accepting and Leicester itself is multicultural so it probably doesn’t feel alien to others.
And then I asked her how does it feel to be a minority at the gym (female, wearing a hijab) in a gym population which is mostly male?
She told me:
I don’t find wearing a hijab stops me from doing what I want to do and being who I want to be. I don’t feel any different from anyone else at the gym, even if I decide to cover myself. In terms of the male environment, sometimes it feels intimidating lifting the lighter weights when everyone around me is able to lift heavier ones, but I’m hoping that one day I will be able to too!
Alliya, to me, is incredibly inspiring and I love the amount of motivation she has. The point of me writing this blog was to show that everyone, no matter what you do, where you from, everyone can take part in Varsity and in sport!
Thankyou so much to Alliya and remember #FearLeics
Brit x

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About Brit

Hi guys, I'm Brit a second-year Ancient History and History student originally from Yorkshire. I'm into sports, promoting positive mental health as well as giving you study hacks and tips to help you during your time at Leicester.

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