NDT has achieved so much already in Uganda, India and now Kenya. But last week, out of the blue, something special came along. We received a mail from Muhammad Muzammal Khan Wazeeri. Mr Wazeeri is a sports fanatic through and through, from playing rugby to american football and coaching in schools too. He was keen to do something for the girls in his community. He lives in Fort Abbas of Pakistan, a remote village with lot of restrictions and primitive cultural barriers on girls’ participation in sport.
Mr Wazeeri has been involved with a few people who know netball and a few weeks ago came up with an idea to introduce netball to the one of the girls’ schools. Being a girls sport he thought this could be a way to start, but he knew that convincing the school to get on board would be the biggest challenge. However, that did not deter him. The following week he arrived at the Punjab Public School some 35 km away from Fort Abbas.
We asked him ‘why netball?’
“I do a lot of rugby and football and other sports but I have not done much with girls. It has always bothered me, but I could not do much about it, maybe I was waiting for the right idea and opportunity. When I was introduced to the Netball Development Trust, I got excited about it. I searched about the organisation and what they did and also started to learn a bit about netball. I like what they have done in India and Africa. So I thought this could be a really good format for my community”
We know it is new but have you seen any changes?
“Ohhh yes! I have seen some changes already. As I told you about my community and the lack of exposure of sports for girls, the introduction of netball on the first day in the Punjab Public School attracted 30 girls most of them did not dare to come out but the brave 30 did. The girls in my community have to keep their heads covered by wearing a cloth on their head called a “Dupatta.” It is a cultural thing and the girls have to wear it 24/7 but during the netball game the girls took the “Dupatta” off their heads and tied it to their shoulders. I was amazed to see the big change! I do not know if anyone else noticed this huge change but I surely did and smiled to myself. After the games one of the girls said to me they have never played a team game and it was nice to play as a team.”
What are you plans for the future?
“I think I have a wonderful thing running here with the help of NDT. We would like to grow this game here. We do not have much equipment or resources to work with but I am not making that as my excuse. I will do what is needed and then the rest we will see!” “And remember, in Pakistan here is no example of boys’ netball, this is, you can say, first time in Pakistan boys are playing netball. Only girls play this sport in rare institutions in big cities.”
NDT is supporting Mr Wazeeri with his work and we are looking for people in Pakistan and around the world to get involved who have the love for netball. Please get in touch with us and we will give you more information about the work in Pakistan and the other countries we visit.