Maintaining her stand against forced dress code in sports, ace Indian shooter Heena Sidhu has once again decided to opt out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes.
She had conveyed her decision to the National Rifle Association of India three weeks back about withdrawing her participation from the championship which will be held in Tehran in December, reports India Today.
Here is what she wrote on Twitter:
There have been reports abt me skipping the Asian air weapon competition in Iran due to their practice of making women wear hijab. (1)— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
Im not a revolutionary. But I feel dat making it mandatory for even a sportsperson to wear hijab is not in the spirit of a Sport. (2)— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
Im proud 2 b sportsperson coz ppl from diff cultures, backgrouds, sexes, ideologies, religion can cum 2gether n compete without biases (3)— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
Sport is an exhibition of sheer Human Effort nPerformance. Our ability to dig deep for Strength, Will Power and Determination. (4)— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
This is d reason I compete n I cannot compete for anything lesser than this. But I wud also not have my personal opinion politicised (5)— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
I thank the NRAI for respecting my views n I wud also like 2wish luck 2 r team competing in Iran. Lets concentrate on competition dan hijab— Heena sidhu (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
It is not the first instance where she decided to not participate in an event citing forced dress code. Two years ago, she pulled out of a tournament in Iran for the same reason.
Many international players have expressed their reservations in participating in sports wearing a hijab.
Recently, Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, who participated in the FIDE Grand Prix chess championships held in Iran in February this year, said that it was very uncomfortable for her to play wearing a hijab.
"During one of the games, my headscarf came off and the arbiter came instantaneously and told me to wear it properly. It’s a distraction,” she had then said, reports The Indian Express.