Volleyball Team – New Life for Algeria Sport
It was not so long ago, that a spectacular female athlete from Algeria, Hassiba Boulmerka, won the 1 500 meter racing event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Instead of going home to an overwhelming crowd of proud citizens and screaming fans, she was ridiculed by religious conservatives and criticized for displaying so called “nudity”. But new hope has arisen amidst the growing stability of a country that is trying to heal from a traumatic past – a women’s volleyball team that has not only taken the world by storm, but is representing Algeria in the Beijing Olympics.
During the 1990’s not much attention has was paid to sport in Algeria, as all its focus was on its political situation. But all that is starting to change, and the harsh views on women playing sport are slowly starting to ease. After winning the All Africa Games, the Algerian volleyball team easily secured its position as one of the African volleyball teams to be selected for the Beijing Olympics by winning their qualifying tournament game that was held in January 2008.
The team is enthusiastic about coming up against some of the worlds’ best teams, and hope that they will do well and make their country proud. Some families are even encouraging their children, male and female, to play sport. Iit is hoped that families who are still against woman taking part in sport, will see the benefits and pride that athletes can bring. The women in the Algerian volleyball team have the support of their families, friends and husbands, and they are optimistic about the future of sport and especially women in sport.
If the volleyball team and their efforts to succeed are recognized by Algeria, there might be a chance that the government will start to develop improved sporting facilities throughout the country, to encourage athletes of all ages to pursue their dreams as sportsmen and put Algeria on the international sporting map. With the increasing success of the female volleyball team, it has been proven that Algeria is a country of untapped talent and that if the athletes and sports enthusiasts are given the opportunity to develop, Algeria might just become a sporting force to be reckoned with.