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High Schoolers Design Culturally Sensitive Athletic Apparel

Everywhere around America we hear stories about bullying in school, whether it be online or in person. Sports are often a way for children to escape and enjoy their lives without scrutiny. However, when a group of Muslim high school girls were uncomfortable playing the sport they love due to the attire, they came up with a way to have the best of both worlds.

The result is a great example of kids overcoming barriers involving faith and culturally appropriate sports-apparel needed to participate in school athletics.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of Muslim high school girls have created a way to participate in sports like basketball, swimming and others by creating functional athletic clothing that also adheres to their cultural and religious standards. The girls took it upon themselves to design their own culturally sensitive sportswear that lets them move freely without worrying about tripping on a long, flowing dress or having a head scarf come undone at a crucial point in a game.

The roots of the uniforms stretch back, to a day in 2008 when a then-college student, Fatimah Hussein, founded a girls-only sports program (that now includes the Lady Warriors, one of the teams that utilizes the innovative apparel.) Hussein played a critical role in making these Muslim girl’s dreams for appropriate sports attire a reality.

The group actually started conceiving their athletic apparel line back in 2013, when they began attending various female sporting events to see how uniforms functioned. University designers then helped the girls get their ideas on paper, and they ultimately came up with two flagship designs: The first included a striped teal-and-black uniform featuring leggings and a knee-length tunic that’s good for all sports, including swimming. The other was a bright red basketball outfit that includes a tight black headpiece, also ensuring arms, legs, hair and neck all remain covered as they play. Since the foundation of their program, other athletic uniforms have been designed as well.

You can check out the sporty fashions for yourself online at, which is the website for the Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports.


Mason Kern, The Sports Watchdog, spotlights newsworthy current events and happenings in the world of pro, college and youth sports as well as notable sports and fitness gadgets and gear. Mason frequently appears as a sportscasting guest on various TV and radio programs, including Good Morning Arizona, KUSI-TV San Diego, NBC Sports Radio Phoenix and more. View his TV segment clips online at Reach Mason on Twitter @ASportsWatchdog, on Facebook at and on LinkedIn at



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