Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

University in London is the UK's first to create its own sports hijab

Brunel University London crafted the design for its Muslim students, in a bid to get more women participating in sports

The hijab will be available in two sizes. Instagram / Brunel University London
The hijab will be available in two sizes. Instagram / Brunel University London

It's been just over a year since Nike revealed its first-ever sportswear hijab, and now one British university is following in its footsteps.

Brunel University in London has created a sporting hijab for its students, a move the institution claims makes it the first university in the UK to do so.

The navy headscarf is branded with the university's logo, and will initially be available in two sizes. The lightweight design has been crafted to keep the wearer cool, and will cost £15 (Dh71).

The university was compelled to create the hijab after noticing a lack of female participation in its sporting programmes.

“When we narrowed it down, we found the main gap to be in BAME female sports participation – specifically, we found there to be a barrier to Muslim women taking part in team sport," Ranjeet Rathore, president of the Union of Brunel Students, said in a statement.

“Of course, they were participating in sports on their own and in private, but they weren’t really going out to competitions, or using sport as a social tool to get involved in activities.”

The university, one of only four in the UK to offer a free sports programme, said it is hoping to launch different colourways in the future.

“The new hijab is made of really light, high-quality material which is light on the head, and contains small pores which allows the skin to breathe more easily,” said Rathore.

“There are now other unis that want to partner with us, who want to take samples off us, who want to do their own hijab – which is great news.”

Nike first unveiled its Pro-Hijab in 2017, designed to tackle performance problems associated with wearing a traditional hijab during sports. Several other modestwear labels, such as Siya and Raqtive, also sell active hijabs as part of their collections.

Updated: February 13, 2019 05:55 PM

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