The Rising Stars Initiative by Spin Club Truly Raises Some Stars

Photo: Spin Club and World Table Tennis

The Rising Stars initiative by Spin Club – the only table tennis club in Iran solely for women and girls – is one of the recipients of the Dream Building Fund powered by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD). This initiative aims to mainstream gender equality and promote girls’ rights among young people through table tennis training.

We commemorate International Day of Girl Child (IDG) every 11 October to empower girls and amplify their voices. This year marks the 10th anniversary of IDG. Yet, much still needs to be done to provide girls equal access to education, physical and mental health and well-being support, sports, and other opportunities to release and use their full potential. Equal access for women and girls will improve social development, increase economic growth, and create more stable and sustainable communities. Thus, the Rising Stars initiative was born.

In Iran, the Rising Stars initiative aims to raise awareness of female rights among women and girls (under 16 years old), those with disabilities, immigrants, club/association members, and individuals living below the poverty line. This initiative provides target communities access to a training facility and educational workshops on gender equality through inspirational women figures; hence, they can build confidence, aspirations, knowledge, skills, and capacities. Opening access for women and girls to sports training allows the family of the target communities to understand the female rights for equal access and fair treatment as their male counterparts. This year, some Rising Stars shone.

Baran Arjmand competed in several WTT Youth Contender competitions in Helsingborg, Amman, Bangkok, and Tbilisi. In Amman, Jordan, she earned second place in U13 Girls’ Singles category. With this achievement, her rank improved from 29 to 18, and she was selected for the 2022 ITTF HOPES Team. Baran and Elisa Karima continued their journey to WTT Youth Contender in Thailand and Georgia after participating in the Sport for Development workshop in Tehran. This workshop taught her about girls’ rights and things girls can achieve with table tennis as a means of social change. Baran became the U15 champion and U13 semi-finalist; Elisa became the U11 finalist in WTT Youth Contender Tbilisi, Georgia. As a result, Baran's U13 ranking has climbed to 9. What an achievement!

The Rising Stars initiative will continue training more women, girls, and other disadvantaged groups and provide them with resources. Women and girls can be the changemakers driving positive change in their communities – if given a chance. The Rising Stars initiative in Iran was made possible through the generous support of The Foundation for Global Sports Development. We are grateful for that and hope to reach more communities to foster positive impacts globally.

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