With Somali government forces defeating the Al-Qaeda-proxy militants of Al-shabaab in many regions across the country, Somali women have once again participated in a sport game for the first time in three years.
The first women’s sporting exhibition was a running competition on Thursday afternoon. It was intended to mark the international athletics day known as the IAAF day, a commemoration marked by every IAAF member federation in May each year.
“The IAAF day event is one of the most important competitions we hold. We are very happy that our federation became the first to exhibit a women’s competition for the first time in three years,” the Somali Athletics Federation senior vice president Khadija Aden Dahir said.
Mr. Dahir said the school children, boys and girls from different clubs and the national team took part in Thursday’s IAAF day commemoration.
“The school children competed in 80 meters run, the boys competed in 5000 and 1500 meters run. The girls also competed in 800 meters run,” said the Somali Athletics federation senior vice president who is the highest-ranking sports woman in Somalia currently.
She said her federation was very grateful to Telcom Somalia, the country’s oldest network provider for its continued assistance to Somali Athletics Federation. Telcom Somalia financed Thursday’s IAAf day commemoration.
Telcom Somalia manager Mohamed Abdullahi Abdi popularly known as Martello who said that his company is committed to assist sport which he believes to be the sole positive organization in the war-torn Somalia.
“Sport protects young people from taking up guns or falling into other kinds of crimes. We have decided to help the sporting organizations here in Somalia and that means that our company is playing an active role in the development of sport and peace building in the country,” Telcom Somalia manager noted.
Somali deputy minister for youth and sports Ali Sheik Abdullahi Afgoye praised the Somali NOC and its sporting federations for the positive activities in the war-ravaged country.
“Today I am very happy because for some years I haven’t seen such beautifully dressed Somali girls competing in sport. We have high hopes that hundreds of girls will bee seen at stadiums in the coming months when the government has liberated the whole nation from the hands of terrorists,” the deputy minister said.
He congratulated 19 year old SamSam Mahmoud Farah for winning the women’s 800 meters running adding that his ministry will draw special programs for women in sports.