Portland’s mountainous greenery and super-fit gymnasts inspired us to perfect our summersaults and adopt an organic lifestyle, but California beckoned us. We arrived ready to meet with three different emerging leaders and their host organizations during our longer-than-usual stay of 2.5 days!
One event that we made sure not to miss was the WISE Evening with the Advisory Board where Amy Stanton of Stanton & Co. recognized her emerging leader, Dina Ibrahim who is a national team swimmer from Egypt by presenting her with a year-long membership.
Through her work at Kidzania in Egypt, Dina knows the potential that sport to improve the lives of women and girls in her community.
She said, “The community or the society is not encouraging of women to play sports, go out, discover. It’s more of sit home and study then you will be taking care of your home and you must learn how to cook and things like that, which is great, but women can do many more things alongside that and it’s not fair to lose the opportunity to discover who they really are.”
Dina grew up in a Christian home in Cairo and attended the English school, where she was exposed to swimming and several other sports. She fell in love with the water and dedicated herself to becoming a national team swimmer. Through sport, Dina developed self-confidence and learned invaluable life lessons. In the her words, “Swimming taught me the meaning of commitment and discipline. I learned the meaning of success but I also learned how to get back up, how to succeed after being knocked down.”
Despite serious cultural constraints, Dina achieved national acclaim for swimming and also completed a degree in Economics, a field typically reserved for males. Dina credits swimming with teaching her how to compete, lead, and finish.
Through this experience, Dina hopes to learn how to: (a) increase female sport participation in Egypt, specifically swimming, (b) raise awareness about the benefits of sport participation for girls using the school system and media outlets, (c) encourage federation support of female sports programs, and (d) develop and market her own swimming academies that promote life skill development through sport.