Their team spirit? Electric. Their endurance? Unrelenting. Their passion for the game? Captivating. Who are they? They are the Pink Warriors – Egypt’s first ever American Flag Football Girls team.
Yup. You heard right. American football comes to Cairo, Egypt. The Pink Warriors team became a reality in October 2015, bringing together a group of 25 ladies of various ages, interests, and backgrounds who all share one thing in common – a love for American football! This awesome sport requires speed, agility and endurance, and these girls have got what it takes and more!
Calosha Boalia, Pink Warriors creator and coach, explained to BarakaBits the inspiration behind the formation of the team:
“We came up with the idea of bringing girls’ American football team to Egypt because we wanted to spread the game. So many girls shared their love for American football, but couldn’t find an official team to play on.”
As the Pink Warriors coach, Calosha doesn’t view American football as an ordinary sport – “It changes your lifestyle and your overall attitude.”
Hadeer, a Pink Warriors veteran, also shared with BarakaBits her thoughts on the team during the interview. “Our strongest element in our team is our diversity. We do different things and come from different backgrounds, but we are all Pink Warriors”, said Hadeer with an energetic smile and lit-up eyes. One of the things that attracted her to American football, Hadeer said, is the fact that “everybody has a role to play depending on her skill set.”
Moreover, Noha, a new member of the team, described to BarakaBits her passion for the game. She told BarakaBits that sports has always been a part of her life, teaching her persistence and determination. But one thing that makes American football unique to her is the fact that it pushes her to go above and beyond. She believes:
“You always have the choice to give up and gain nothing. Or to go that extra mile and gain everything. Football teaches me to push harder for the sake of my team”.
With Ramadan in full swing, the Pink Warriors don’t let anything get in the way of training – not even 16 hours of fasting. Their nightly practices continue throughout the month of Ramadan and take place after Iftar, the breaking of the fast. Most people in Ramadan are lethargic, lazy, and sleepy, but Coach Calosha reminds the Pink Warriors to eat light at Iftar, fruits and some simple carbs, so the body can train at its full potential during the 2-hour practice.
This group of strong women defy stereotypes and prove that women can play (and be great at) any type of sport, regardless of whether or not that sport is commonly played in their own country.
Watching these warriors perform intense drills that require speed and coordination after a long day of fasting during the warm summer nights, one can’t help but be inspired. Hadeer told us: “We are one family, one bond. That’s what makes us strong. That’s why I truly believe in our slogan: Together we stand, divided we fall.”
Stay tuned for the girls American Flag Football tournament in October! We’ll be keeping you posted!
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