Mubeenah Azmi is the youngest of six sisters who are taking the hockey world by storm. All members of the Toronto Women’s Ball Hockey Association Summer League, the Azmi sisters are a force to be reckoned with – with hijabs on their heads and hockey sticks in hand, they are showing young Muslim girls that anything is possible.

Hockey is more than just a game to me – playing it pushes me to do more than I ever expected to do in life! It has taught me to be more confident in myself, to be more social and work in a team, and it has given me a fun way to exercise.

When I joined the league, all five of my sisters were already a part of the team. I can only imagine how scary it would be joining by myself, but having my sisters there was a huge help, as they supported me throughout my first season. They pushed me to be more social with our teammates and included me in every conversion they had with their hockey friends. Even though they can be annoying sometimes, I am grateful that they are my sisters and teammates. Joining on your own may be scary, but when you play with your team and get to know everyone, it is so much fun and a lot less lonely. Also, in all of my experiences, not one person ever cared about what we wore, aside from a few curious glances. I feel like my sisters may have gone through a harder time before I joined, but by the time I joined, everybody was familiar with my sisters, so it was not as difficult.   

One of my favourite hockey experiences was our provincial tournament. I expected not to get any shift – and I did not even know if I wanted a shift, because these players were very good and if I messed up, I would be in Hockey is a sport that I would probably never have considered if I did not have the support of my sisters and family, but because of them I am way happier than I was before. I would encourage people to try hockey or any sport, even though they might not be joining with siblings or friends, because they will benefit more than they can ever imagine. Take it from someone who was not very confident and social; now that I play hockey, all of that has changed, and I have so much more confidence. Though it may not seem like it from the outside, there are so many lessons to be learned from sports. A lesson I have learned from hockey is that even if you make many mistakes, you yourself have the power to improve and grow so you can help your team reach the ultimate goal.  trouble. So when the coach told me to go on the rink in the very first game of the tournament, I was shocked! At first my body was nervous, but when the ball dropped, my instincts took over and I tried to play how I had been playing all season. I had a good first game, but I did make mistakes on a few plays, and my coach explained to me what I could have done to avoid those mistakes. The next day, I was told that because one of our players got injured, I was going to be playing again! By the end of the tournament I played two games and had the most fun I ever had playing hockey. My coaches and teammates were great, and they all helped me improve my skills in just two games. I remember a moment between one of our games when we were hanging out with our teammates, and all I remember is feeling happy and ecstatic, even though my body was tired and sore.