The Afghan Women’s National Hockey Team on Wednesday called for broader support by the government, particularly the National Olympic Committee, to help young women playing on the team demonstrate their abilities on the international stage in the future.
The team members strongly criticized inaction by the Afghan government, particularly the National Olympic Committee, towards the Women’s National Hockey Team, saying the team is unable to hoist Afghanistan’s national flag on the world stage including the Olympics if the team is supported by the government.
The Afghan Women’s National Hockey Team was established in 2012 under the National Olympic Committee. However, the team didn’t manage to grow because of a lack of support and facilities.
Khadija is a member of the Afghan Women’s National Hockey Team who has been playing hockey for the past nine years.
“We couldn’t pursue our regular training because there is no area to train and to demonstrate our ability on the world stage. Fortunately, we were assured recently about a hockey rink that is currently under construction. We hope that the completion of this rink will help us to pursue our sport,” said Khadija.
“Every single girl or youth is able to enter into the field of sports, because sports is not only for males,” said Yasmin Mohammadi, a member of the Women’s National Hockey Team.
“Our main problem is the lack of a standard rink. There is a dire need for a rink for these girls. The National Olympic Committee and the Department of Sports and Physical Education have pledged to construct a standard rink,” said Pir Mohammad Amiri, coach of the Women’s National Hockey Team.
“There has been significant progress in the National Hockey Federation of Afghanistan over the past few years. For the first time, we managed to organize a course with the support of International Olympics and the National Hockey Federation, and four of our female players managed to get their certificates,” said Rukhsar Habibzai, the deputy head of Hockey Federation.
“We also managed to establish our provincial hockey teams,” she said.
The Afghan Women’s National Hockey Team was established in 2012 within the organization of the National Olympic Committee. The Afghan Women’s Hockey Federation has 28 members and branch committees in Bamiyan, Kabul and Nangarhar provinces.