Industrial designer Elham Seyed Javad has taken up the cause begun in 2007 when a Muslim girl was barred from a soccer match for wearing a hijab. Then, five Muslim girls were ejected from a tae kwon do tournament for the same reason. “I was so distressed when I learned about it,” Seyed Javad said. “Your beliefs shouldn’t prevent you from playing sports.” So, the 26-year-old University of Montreal graduate designed a sleek sports hijab, which fits tightly around the head and is part of a sports shirt underneath.
Seyed Javad, who is Muslim but doesn’t wear a hijab herself, emphasizes that her “Resport” is more than a hijab. It can be used by anyone, male or female, who needs to keep their hair in check during their activities. They were tested by some Muslim athletes at a martial arts tournament last weekend and passed with flying colours, Seyed Javad said. The problem of headscarves in sports is that sometimes the ends come untucked, even though athletes try to pin them inside a shirt.