Cairo women take to the American football field

first_imgThe version played by women here is non-contact, with players seeking to snatch flags tucked into opponents’ waistbands.For the young women who have taken up the game, which faces stiff competition for attention in a nation mad about soccer, it’s a chance to escape the many pressures of city life.Habiba Mohamed, 19, says her friends and parents were surprised about her new passion.For the young Egyptian women who have taken up the game, American football is a chance to escape the many pressures of city life in Cairo © AFP / KHALED DESOUKI“When I told them at home I will practice American football, my father and mother told me: ‘How is this possible? You need to be careful,’” she says.Mohamed is kitted out in the green-and-yellow jersey of her team, Gezira Thunder, which is playing rivals the AUC Titans at the Maadi Olympics Centre, a stadium that normally functions as a soccer venue.It proves a good day for her, as Gezira storms to victory, albeit in a largely empty arena, save for a smattering of cheering friends and family.A teammate is keen to emphasise the non-contact nature of flag football.“My friends thought it was a violent sport but it is not, as I have told them, and when they came to watch the games, they liked the sport a lot,” says 20-year-old quarterback Yara Tawheed.“The level of violence in this sport is similar to that in ballet,” she adds.– Release for stress and anger –In a socially conservative country, playing a spectator sport can be a radical departure from the norm for women © AFP / KHALED DESOUKIBut some would prefer to play the full contact version. Alia Haytham, 22, a student at Cairo’s American University, says she hopes to play the undiluted game, to help her release anger and energy.“But this does not detract from flag football being fun,” she says. “All of us here have problems at university and at home, but as soon as we enter the pitch we forget everything that preoccupies us.”The coach of another female team, the adventurously named Hell Hounds, is proud of his players.“If you see how hard these girls work, I think you would really admire what they put into it,” says 30-year old American Matthew Kershey.Some of the women would prefer to play the full contact version of the sport © AFP / KHALED DESOUKIEgypt became a member of the International Federation of American Football in 2014. The federation is leading a drive to register teams outside Cairo and expects several new clubs will be up and running in time for next season.But the game “is not new in Egypt, where it was initiated among men in 2007”, Asmaa Marie, a spokeswoman for the Egyptian Federation of American Football, tells AFP.Marie, who wears the Islamic hair cover and plays regularly, cites similar motivations to Haytham. “The game has helped me control my anger and release stress.”– International games –Games have even been organised against teams in other countries. Last year, Cairo Warriors, another of the capital’s teams, played a Moroccan outfit in a friendly, and early this year they took part in a tournament in the US.Games have even been organised against teams in other countries © AFP / KHALED DESOUKIIn a socially conservative country, playing a spectator sport can be a radical departure from the norm for women — especially games traditionally associated with Western men.But Marie believes that “the game’s popularity in Egypt will surpass that of many team sports, like volleyball and handball”.“The American football community in Egypt has grown, and we feel that we all know each other,” she says.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The version played by the Egyptian women is non-contact, with players seeking to snatch flags tucked into opponents’ waistbands © AFP / KHALED DESOUKICAIRO, Egypt, Apr 10 – It’s a spectacle that few would imagine in Cairo — an American football field full of Egyptian women.From humble beginnings in 2016 with only three teams, Egypt’s all-female informal “flag football” league now has eight clubs vying for supremacy in the capital.last_img read more

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GOLF NEWS: VINCENT MCGLYNN WINS THE OPEN COMPETITION AT BARNHILL

first_imgLetterkenny Golf NotesWednesday 23rd Open, sponsored by Inishowen Motors-Letterkenny Kia/Nissan, Letterkenny, recorded over one hundred and thirty competitors with one of the home club’s most consistent members taking top honours.Despite a few double bogeys on the front nine, there was no doubt that “that” birdie at the par three 5th hole gave Doley Higgins [22] the win by just one point, recording 22pts on the back nine to pip Michael Mc Elhinney [16] who returned 41pts. Despite returning 23pts on back nine, it was the double bogey at 9th which caused Michael to lose out.Relegated to third place on BOT was Michael O’Donnell [13] whose birdie at 2nd, followed immediately by bogey at 3rd, gave him 21pts on front nine but a disappointing bogey at 18th blew his chances.In fourth place was Brendan Duffy [11] with 40pts and gross prize was won by Jamie Foley [3].With the Friday “meal deal” re-starting, it was club stalwart, single handicapper Kevin Kiely [6] who “beat the heat” to take top spot on the podium with a gross 79. With another entry breaking the one hundred mark, Saturday’s Open, sponsored by Mc Gettigan’s Bar, Clanree Hotel, saw another club favourite Bobby Shiels [17], getting back into winning ways with a solid score of 43pts.Despite an uncharacteristic double bogey at 4th hole, Bobby pulled one shot back with a birdie at 7th for an outward nine of 23pts.Thinking he had blown his chances with a “blank” at 10th followed by another double bogey at 11th, Bobby steadied the swing to record 20pts on back nine and an overall winning score of 43pts.In runners-up spot was Ulster Cup team panelist Nicholas Millier [14] who, with early back-to-back birdies at 4th & 5th holes, returned 23pts on front nine, only to slip up on 10th with a double bogey and return a 42pt finish.Claiming third spot was the ever consistant Michael-Boucher Hayes [14] with 40pts., returning a winning score for the second week running. With the climate turning to rain on Sunday, the Value Centre Wholesale sponsored Open belonged to the single handicappers, with “the long fellow” Vincent Mc Glynn [7] taking top spot with a “professional” type scorecard that read thirteen pars and one birdie thru 14th [34pts], only to blemish it with three bogeys in the closing four holes for a return of 41pts.Two points behind was another club team stalwart Eamon Mc Glinchey [6] with 39pts., who erased a double bogey at 3rd with birdies at 4th & 7th, returning 20pts on front nine and finishing the inward nine with a birdie at 16th and bogey at 17th to secure runners-up spot.Monday 28th saw a large turnout of Juniors for their Monday Holiday competition and congratulations go to Ronan Daly [25] who pipped Brian Diver [25] to first prize on BOT, both players finishing on 39pts over eighteen holes.Team News: Following on from their two matches to three defeat at Rosapenna, the club’s Donegal League team’s return match at home on Thursday saw them battling their way through to the semi finals when they will now play Buncrana Golf Club. It is the first time since 1998/99 that the club team have reached this round, this year under the captaincy of the shrewd Gerard Duffy.The standard of golf in the first match on Thursday last was made of Ryder Cup proportions, with no less than 15 birdies recorded through 13 holes, and Letterkenny team members Eamonn Mc Dermott and Jamie Foley returning 10 under gross for 16 holes.Also achieving matchplay notoriety at the highest level are Letterkenny’s two young juvenile members Christopher Duffy and Jack Patton, who were 4 under par for their match. Congratulations and future success to the team panel and captain Gerard.Juveniles: will be having their Junior Captain’s prize over next weekend with the young juniors on Sunday evening, 3rd August and the 9/11/18 hole comp. taking place on Tuesday 5th.Diary Dates: Saturday 2nd August Open will be sponsored by Highland Radio and Wednesday 6th Open sponsored by EMC Construction.Letterkenny Golf Club will host the annual Ladies and Gents Open on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th August, in aid of the Friends of St. Lukes, organised by Mick Gallagher. Entry fee: €10 members, visitors €20; Please support this worthy charity.GOLF NEWS: VINCENT MCGLYNN WINS THE OPEN COMPETITION AT BARNHILL was last modified: July 29th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BarnhillgolfNoticesSportlast_img read more

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