4 years ago10,000+ Views
Afghanistan's women cycling team is named one of the world's most unlikely sporting teams. These opinions are for a good reason too. The sport breaks many taboos in a country where, because of their traditional practices, women are not allowed to do many things. One of these taboos that the team is breaking is leaving the house without an escort. Women in Afghanistan are not allowed out of the house without a male member of their family as an escort. But this doesn't stop the cycling team from training three times a week!
The team has done well, competing and winning regionally against Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, the team faces trouble. Retaining athletes is difficult, as many of these trained athletes get married at 20 and then drop out of their team, presumably because of their husband's wishes.
Another problem they face is the public's disapproval. The team says they do not get confronted while they are cycling, rather, their fathers will get ridiculed and cursed. The coach has received death threats and even more recently got beat up by those who disapprove.
There is good news though, many of the family members do approve as well as many other community members. Not only that, these women get to feel empowered in a country that has historically discriminated against women's rights. The cycling group has gotten so much attention that new members are always looking to join!

The women's cycling team trains three times a week on the outskirts of Kabul

Deputy head coach Mariam Marjan is always looking for new recruits in Kabul

But there are many obstacles for women who want to compete

The head coach faces frequent threats and the girls' families do not always approve

A big problem is keeping trained athletes on the team after they get married

But despite the difficulties, the team has won regionally against Pakistan and Bangladesh

@TeamWaffles Didn't know that little piece of information. Thanks for adding it!
@AnthonyB Yup! Even if you don't like their bikes you can't deny that the have good people running the company
@TeamWaffles Wow, really? Giant just gained a lot of respect in my book
This team is amazingly inspirational. If you didn't know, Giant has been a big supporter of this group of women with bikes and other gear. Go giant!