A new Victorian program run by Golf Australia’s “Get into Golf” initiative, has paved the way for a group of Muslim women to participate in the sport.
The eight-week Growling Frog Golf course aims to increase participation of the sport for women and people from culturally and diverse backgrounds, SBS reported.
One of the participants is Rihana Penitito, a Muslim woman who grew up watching her dad play golf. Yet, she has never picked up a golf club.
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“Ever since growing up, I’ve seen him going to play golf every Monday. So, he did take me once but I never once picked up a club or anything, I was driving the buggy the whole time. But that was the only experience of golf that I had,” she said.
Rihana found out about the program through an advertisement at her children’s school, finding it a chance to proceed her dream and play golf.
“We were able to know each other more, form friendships, and learn about the program and learn about golf and actually finding out there’s much more benefits out there offering to us as women who are not going to work or who are stay at home mums who don’t really have exposure to sports and games,” she added.
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Dania Sarraj, another participant in the program, found it a great way to know her new community after moving to Australia from New Zealand.
“It was a good opportunity for me to meet with new friends and like know new parents here in the same school. So I know many friends from coming to here,” she said.
“Playing golf is very good for our mental health. And it makes me more relaxed and stress free. I believe that playing golf, it reduces the stress from our body, so I advise everyone to try and play golf.”
The Australian program is not the first to engage more Muslims in the golf sport.
Earlier this year, the Muslim Gold Association launched UK’s first golf taster tour for Muslim women, offering them a more comfortable and inclusive environment to practice sport.
Encouraging Muslims to play golf, MGA has attracted hundreds of Muslim golfers, achieving huge success as the first association that caters to their faith.