Meet the rugby queen who wears a hijab
By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid
Rugby can be very dangerous, especially for girls but if it is meant for you, nothing can stop you. If there is a will, there must be a way.
A rugby player Norfarahana Aziz or better known as Ana has created history by becoming the first hijab wearing player selected for the national women's rugby team.
Who would have taught that behind a girl with a lovely and sweet face, there's a rugby player!
Ana, who is just 22 years old, proved that she's not just an ordinary woman.
Within a year of joining the Cobra Venom club, Petaling Jaya in 2016, Ana caught the attention of the national squad selection committee!
Ana admitted that she was surprised to find out she was the only hijabi in the team.
She said she had been criticised by some who were skeptical about her abilities in rugby based on the hijab and her small size.
Despite that, Ana managed to overcome it and proved that being small and a hijabi, were not a weakness as she was crowned as the best national female rugby player in 2018.
Initially, Ana, a Kedahan, was involved in martial arts before venturing into rugby.
Just two months after taking up silat, Ana made a drastic decision to join women's rugby and there was no turning back since then.
However, just like others, Ana has sacrificed much. To pursue her passion, Ana had to leave home for KL.
However, she is glad that she managed to continue her studies while still paying rugby.
It was her first time coming to KL and she encountered different cultures, traditions and dialects.
"It's very tough. I was never far from my family. I had to learn how to be independent. The city is a lot different. In the village, we don't know anything about rugby. That's why I moved to KL," she told women.rugby, a portal about women and rugby.
The challenging city life has also given her the confidence that any obstacles can be overcome.
In her journey, Ana has also been able to help and convince other Muslim girls that they too could play rugby.
“I’m proud because maybe I have been an inspiration to them. When they see me play rugby with a hijab, it also gave them the courage to play rugby,” she added.
“Sometimes I feel like a role model because there are girls who asked me how do I play rugby with that and if it bothered me when playing?
"I told them it’s not a problem. That you can play rugby wearing a hijab. There is a solution by wearing a scrum cap,” she added.
We hope Ana has a successful journey as a young rugby player and can be an inspiration for others to pursue their dreams!