The sport of Ju-Jitsu has become one of Jordan’s best loved leisure activities and while there are thousands of enthusiasts that enjoy it, the Kingdom also has some of the best athletes in the world.
It is a situation that has made 43-year-old mother-of-two Ghalia Baggily a very happy lady, as she was one of the pioneering females who first took up the sport in Jordan 15 years ago.
She overcome the early obstacles of being a woman breaking into what was then a man’s world of Ju-Jitsu, but she went on to become the Kingdom’s first black belt in the sport.
Reflecting on years since, Baggily said that she hopes that her efforts have paved the way for more women and girls to take up sport.
“I’m so happy to be a black belt in Ju-Jitsu, because I became addicted to the sport as soon as I first took it up,” she said. “It’s not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle and a way to improve one’s health and mental skills.”
The mother of Taimor, seven, and Nour, four, said that becoming a mother didn’t stop her from being a top Ju-Jitsu competitor, and if fact helped her to focus.
“I love to be around my kids, but when it came to training, I never miss a session! I see being a mother as a reason to keep practicing sport as my kids look towards me as their role model and if that includes me being a sportswoman then it can only be good. I’m sure they will want to be like me one day.”
Baggily said she was proud to see the sport’s progress over recent years, but accepts that more needs to be done. “It has indeed become more popular now with Jordan now one of the world’s top nations for this sport with several world champions who I am extremely proud of,” she said.
“It takes a lot of hard work to become the best and stay on top of your game, and hard work can make this happen.
“I hope that the private and public sector can also do more to support this sport and help more women and girls participate in the future.”