Photo by Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa

An eastern Iowa non-profit group is offering sports hijabs to help Muslim girls stay active.

Starting this fall, the organization Girls On The Run will supply the athletic versions of the Muslim headscarf to girls who request them.

Executive director Kelly Teeselink says coaches want to provide options for girls who find a traditional hijab isn’t suited for running.

“To have something that is more comfortable, that’s not moving around a lot, they’re not having to adjust it,” Teeselink says. “Really, it just came down to that this could potentially be a barrier for girls participating in sports and they wanted to do something about it.”

Teeselink sees the effort as part of the group’s mission to help girls build self-esteem and stay active.

“When you see someone like you doing something awesome, especially for young girls, that is hugely important,” she says, “because it shows them, ‘That person is like me and they did this and that means I can too’.”

Teeselink hopes providing the option of a sports hijab will help ensure girls from all backgrounds feel included, supported and ready to run.

Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio