Empowering Middle Eastern Women Through Sports

There is something special going on in Jordan in the Middle East. You hear about the Syrian crisis and other terrible things that are occurring, but THIS global initiative is a bright spot. If you haven’t heard of Empower Women Through Sport then continue reading!

The Global Sports Mentoring program sponsored by the US Department of State has teamed up with espnW and The University of Tennessee  to create Empower Women Through Sport.

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Empower Women through Sports is based on growing evidence that women and girls who play sports are increasingly likely to excel on both the playing field and in life. According to the research, women and girls’ participation in sports is an important social and economic empowerment tool.

When I was growing up, sports was a way for me to get exercise, meet new friends, and gain confidence. It gave me the courage to TRY. There are many girls and women out there that simply don’t have the confidence to try because they don’t know what they are made of. However, when you can push past those physical limits and come out successful it makes you feel alive. Girls and women that are apart of Empower Women Through Sports now look at challenges and know that they have the power to take it on. In addition to sports women are taught technical and vocational skills to better equip them for working. There is nothing like empowering a life and this program has plenty of it.

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Dima Alardah left her job as an architect to pursue her olympic dreams in badminton. She then opened up the first badminton academy that teaches over 140 students each year. When she joined the Global Sports Mentoring Program she was able to share her story and change the lives of many Jordanian refugees that have been displaced from their homes. Imagine being far from home and possibly family…this program is literally saving lives and the volunteers including Lori Lindsley and Mary Harvey (former U.S. National Women’s Soccer players) are making the dreams of these little girls come true. This is only the beginning so I’m looking forward to seeing how these women take their new found confidence and begin to be a force to reckon with.

This is video one in a series of four shot and directed by Happy Shiver Production Company. You can find more amazing work from them here. Check out the behind the scenes footage from Jordan.     

Aside from commercial and creative endeavors, Shana is constantly seeking to collaborate on projects that combine her passion for artistic expression with a desire to raise awareness, help address fundamental social issues and provide exposure for unique sub cultures. -Excerpt from Happy Shiver website

Click on the name to find more information on the GSMP, Empowering Women through Sports, or Happy Shiver.

Shannon Carlisle is a native of Indianapolis, IN. She spent her young life playing basketball which eventually afforded her a full-ride to Howard University. Shannon played semi-pro but never realized her dream of making it to "the league". She spent the next few years "drifting" until she noticed that other athletes had trouble transitioning too. Now, Shannon blogs at Win After Basketball where she helps post graduate athletes reclaim their identity and develop meaning beyond the game. Click here to visit her website.

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