Sol Mokdad is set to coach one of the teams in a historic and groundbreaking game of rugby league in Lebanon.
The first official women’s rugby league match in the Middle East will kick off in Jounieh on June 5.
Jounieh RLFC Hummingbirds will play AUB Women at the Fouad Chehab Stadium.
Ghassan Dandach, who is the Jounieh coach as well as the main driving force behind the project, feels that the women involved are inspirational.
“I’ve been working on developing a rugby league women’s division for five years now,” he said.
“Aand the passion and devotion the girls show in such a tough game is truly inspirational.”
Jounigh captain Nada Muffarij feels that the sport has opened new doors for her in terms of personal development.
“I joined a team to try something new,” she said.
“A few months later I realized that I’m in a project that’s about more than just sports, and one that’s bigger than anyone person alone; a place where physical and mental strengths are complementary, where teammates work to become a unit that achieves goals inside and outside the field.”
Her AUB counterpart, Rim Wazni, added: “It’s great to have the chance to be participating in this historic event. We’re looking forward to making the best out of it. Hopefully the game will be a stepping stone for the sport in the country, and the first of many.”
Mokdad, who is coach of AUB Women’s RL, feels that the game is the culmination of much hard work in Lebanon.
“I am honoured to be part of this showcase event for women’s rugby league in Lebanon and the region,” he said.
“There has been a lot of hard work done on and off the field to bring this to fruition and our ladies should be proud of their achievements.”
LRLF CEO Remond Safi added: “We are planning to have a women’s championship, initially with a mix of teams from the universities and clubs. We have LAU Women in its formation stages and will take the product to other universities later on.
“We will use this first match to promote the women’s game and eliminate any fears and issues that people may have about women and girls playing a physically demanding sport.
“We will be also looking at taking the national women’s team on tour later in the year.”
Tala Flefel, Nada Mufarrij (c), Nadine Kibbi, Gael Abi Akl,Mia Kesserwani, Nayla Saniour, Reem Dahduli,Theres Kayrouz, Elza Maria Gharois, Ornella Nohra, Nour Dennaoui, Karen Roukoz, Lynn Acra,Yasimina Salame, Douha Knio, Camilia Hamze, Josiane Habib.
Carla Badawi, Rania Abdallah, Maya Mourad, Yara Beaini, Alaa Saadeh, Nicole Khauli, Loubna Sasso (vc), Zina Ibrahim, Rim Wazni (c), Justine Abdallah, Nour Shehimi, Maya Jannoun, Aya Afyouni, Nay Achkar, Diletta Monteduro, Nour Samman, Maya Ayache