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October 23, 2001

First British team heads for Muslim Women's International Games

A group of athletes are leaving London Tuesday to become the first ever team from the West to compete the Islamic Countries’ Women Games being held in Tehran from October 25 to October30.
“It is an honour for the UK to be the first non-Muslim European country to be invited to take part,” Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell said.
“I am sure that the Games will provide an appropriate platform to raise awareness and to demonstrate the benefits that sport can bring to all,” she said.
The team of 23, including 19 female athletes, was organised by The Muslim News. Players will be taking part in Badminton and Futsal (5-a-side football) events.
“This is an excellent opportunity for those British Muslim women and their families, who have successfully qualified for the Games, to celebrate through this event,” Jowell said.
“Sport has a key role in developing an overall sense of well-being, both mentally and physically and it is important that these positive attributes are highlighted not just within the Muslim community but across the broader spectrum in our society,” she said.
The Women’s International Games, the third to be held, has been pioneered by Iran under the vice president of National Iran’s Olympic committee and President of the Sports Federation for Muslim Women Faezeh Hashemi.
The Muslim News helped to organise a selection process for the British team in August. Some 70 young Muslim participated in the qualifying games at Aldenham, Hertfordshire, but high standards were only reached in Badminton and Futsal.
In her message of support, the Culture Secretary expressed her “deep admiration for the efforts of those whose dedication and hard work, have made it possible.”
“I would like to wish the very best of luck to everyone participating in this festival,” she said.

For further information contact us on 020 7608 2822 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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