Rugby is a very rare sport in Iran, and it’s even rarer for women and children. But a NGO working with girls from rough neighbourhoods has found that the sport is boosting their self-esteem in ways they hadn’t predicted.
The NGO is Imam Ali, which works with poor families in cities across Iran. Five months ago, it launched a rugby team for girls under 14 in Malek Abad, a crime-ridden neighbourhood of the city of Karaj. Karaj is located 30 kilometres from the capital Tehran.
“These girls have never been coddled, and they don’t give in to fear”
Sara works with the Imam Ali NGO in Karaj:
“I actually had never heard of anyone playing rugby in Iran before another volunteer told us that she played on an adult’s women’s team. She thought it might interest the girls we work with. So we researched the sport, and realized that the children’s version didn’t pose any particular safety or health risks for the girls.”
Initially published on France24 on 04/16/2015
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