Muslim athletes at Winnipeg's Dakota Collegiate get new custom hijab

When the Dakota Collegiate Lancers hit the court to shoot hoops this season, some of the high school’s athletes will be wearing a brand new hijab made just for sports.

Former student Amina Mohamed inspired the light-weight, versatile hijab, which includes Lancers logo

Sisters Amina Mohamed, left, and Nusaybah Mohamed are excited to be able to wear the new Dakota Collegiate Lancers sport hijab to play basketball. (Kelly Malone/CBC)

When the Dakota Collegiate Lancers hit the court to shoot hoops this season, some of the Winnipeg high school's athletes will be wearing a brand-new hijab made just for sports.

The light-weight, versatile hijab has the Lancers logo and was inspired by former Dakota student Amina Mohamed.

Last year, the basketball player ran into an issue during a game when a referee thought the hijab she was wearing might be unsafe because of the pin fastening it.

"With the help of my principal and my coaches we decided to come up with this idea and create this alternative for what Muslim women can wear without being uncomfortable," said Mohamed, who is now a student at the University of Manitoba.

Amina Mohamed, left, and Nusaybah Mohamed say they love playing basketball and are excited to wear the new light-weight hijab. (Kelly Malone/CBC)

Dakota principal Jill Mathez said it was an easy decision to look for an alternative to make sure all students would be able to participate in sports.

"I think what we try to do at Dakota is make sure that we remove barriers. This was one of the things we looked at that made sense," she said.

They tried to find a local hijab designer but eventually went with one based out of Minneapolis. It took about six months, but around two dozen of the new sport hijabs finally arrived two weeks ago.

Dakota Collegiate is the second school in Canada to provide the headwear and the first with a customized logo on it, Mathez said.

It will be provided for all of the school's athletes who would like one, including Mohamed's younger sister, Nusaybah, who is in Grade 11.

Nusaybah said she's proud of what her older sister did for her and other Muslim athletes.

"I feel like it will encourage people to want to play sports more knowing that there is something for them," she said.

When the Dakota Collegiate Lancers hit the court to shoot hoops this season, some of the Winnipeg high school's athletes will be wearing a brand-new hijab made just for sports. 2:55

With files from Marjorie Dowhos