Whatever the industry, at least one woman is smashing gender norms and making history in it. The basketball team from Bahrain is starting a new chapter in the history of gender equality. And in the case of sports, this is particularly true. Consider Fatima Reyadh, 33, who overcame gender stereotypes to become the first woman to ever coach a men’s basketball team in Bahrain.
She was picked to coach the men’s basketball team in a culture where women participating in sports was frowned upon. Fatima overcame all the challenges and critiques she faced in the beginning and proved her mettle. Her leadership skills were frequently questioned, and it took some time for others to accept her as a coach.
Fatima is the mother of a seven-year-old girl. She started by instructing young ladies in basketball. She also used to instruct young boys until she was hired as an assistant coach at the Al-Najma Basketball Club in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama.
Although Fatima Reyhad holds a black belt in Taekwondo as well, her goal is to lead the men’s basketball team to the national championship. Her involvement in the activity began when she was a young child and used to go with her mother to a women’s basketball club’s headquarters. Her mother was a team coach for the club’s squad. To add to her long list of achievements, a stroll through her IG reveals that Fatima is a very athletic and charismatic person. Apart from basketball, Fatima is also fond of cycling and tennis.
According to reports, Fatima Reyhad said, “It was strange for women to be involved in sports, especially basketball because it was the preserve of men.” She also added that at the beginning of her sports career, she encountered multiple challenges as there was an absence of recognition back then as compared to now.
Seeing a woman defy gender norms and coach a male sports team is such a proud moment for women across the world.