Players of both Afghan and India teams are all set at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium of Jaipur.
They’re ready for the volleyball match.
Although this is a friendly match neither team wants to lose.
Afghan coach Mohammad Fahim says it’s not easy for Afghan women to become athletes.
“It’s not easy to train female players in Afghanistan. There are social and cultural taboos. It’s difficult for the female players to gain permission from their families to play. But now things are changing and more Afghan families are encouraging their girls to play. That’s why we can be here now.”
According to the Amnesty International, Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman.
This is the first time the team that was created last year has played overseas.
Afghan team member Morza Khadreef is grateful to be able to come to India.
“I’m so thankful that my family allowed me to participate in sports. I do feel proud that I’m allowed to come to a foreign country. I got many new friends here and learned a lot.”
Morza and her team mates were invted to India for a week as part of a joint training camp.
The players managed to challenge cultural oppression that limits women’s choice in Afghanistan.
Rahat Rehan is one of the players.
“This is the first time that women volleyball players from Afghanistan have come out to a foriegn country. The condition of women in Afghanistan is improving, especially in Kabul. The families of these girls are supporting them.”
And on the court they are showing off their new found skills…
Back at the game... and the Afghan team is winning...
Captain of the Indian team Pooja Sharma says she’s impressed with the rival.
“We’ve been practicing for a long time, while these girls only started playing a year ago... and they defeat us! The sportsman spirit is clearly an evidence about their struggle. They know how to come back into a game.”
The Afghan team was excited with its first winning in an international event.
Dr. Mohammad Younis Poplzay is the President of Afghanistan National Volleyball Federation.
“This is the first time for Afghan female team to ever win. I’m proud of them.. and I congratulate all Afghan women for this.”
The Afghan team hopes to come back to India again soon… as part of a mission to learn new skills and compete on the world stage.