There is a growing number of Muslim women involved in Olympic sports, which professor Ian Henry said could lead to greater cultural understanding.

UT head football coach Mack Brown, kinesiology students and other members of the global kinesiology community listened to Henry speak about Muslim women’s roles in the Beijing Summer Olympics, among other things, at the 27th annual Alderson Lecture Tuesday evening.

“Globalism, Interculturalism and Sport Policy” featured Henry, a professor of leisure policy and management at Loughborough University in England and writer and editor of European Sport Management Quarterly, a publication of the European Association of Sport Management. The Alderson Lecture is presented in honor of C.J. and Mary Alderson, who served a combined 85 years in education.

Henry has researched issues that exist within the kinesiology community throughout his career, which he presented in part during the lecture. He is known in Britain as the author of “The Politics of Leisure Policy,” which is known as the “orange Bible” because of its importance in kinesiological education. He is researching the global and cultural impact on the kinesiology community.

“The students we serve and the colleagues we work with come from an increasingly diverse base,” Henry said.

Henry added that an understanding and compromise must be reached between members of the global kinesiology community, which could then spread to other areas of society. He predominantly mentioned Muslim women and their roles in organizing the Olympic games this year in Beijing. Their involvement could assist in the eradication of stereotypes that are often associated with these women, he said.

“We do have the ingenuity to make adjustments,” he said.

Henry displayed a picture of Bahrain’s Ruqaya Al Ghasara winning a 100-meter race during the Pan-Arab Games wearing a hijab as an example of the growing diversity in the world of Olympic sports. (MORE)


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