Nike rolling out world’s first sports hijab
Tested by US champion fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the pioneering garment is breathable and lightweight, designed to fit “like a second skin” and not interfere with movement.
Muhammad, who this year had the first-ever hijab-wearing Barbie modelled on her appearance, says she has had many false starts while competing because of her heavy hijab impeding her hearing.
“It really sank in how much my previous hijab had been hindering my performance when I tried the Nike Pro Hijab,” she says. “Suddenly I could hear. I wasn’t as hot, and it felt like my body was able to cool itself down better and faster.”
Nike says the Pro Hijab will help to make sports more inclusive for Muslim women. Statistics from Sport England show that just 18 per cent of Muslim women take part in regular sport, compared to 30 per cent of the total female population.
Other hijabi athletes, including runner Manal Rostom, have also praised the garment’s innovation.
“It inspires me to reach greater heights and to run farther distances,” says Rostom, who completed the latest New York Marathon in the Nike Pro Hijab. “I believe it’s going to inspire girls worldwide to follow their passion for sport.”
This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail Asia.
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