It’s a sport that many will not have even heard of, but nevertheless one Jordanian is about to realise her dream of representing her country at a World Championship.
Mona Al Baitar is heading to Milan, Italy, where she will compete on the biggest stage of them all for the sport of Kettlebell, from June 21-24.
Created in Russia during the 1980’s, Kettlebell is becoming popular worldwide and consists of weightlifting-style events of Clean and Jerk, Snatch and Jerk. And for 35-year-old Mona, it represents the opportunity to represent her flag on the world scene when she will be the only Arab woman among the 800 athletes set to compete.
“I only started this four years ago,” she said. “I have always played various sports but never imagined that I would compete for my country one day. “I’m so happy that I will be there. It’s a great honour to represent Jordan in a unique sport like this, and I’m so looking forward to it. “I want to create awareness about this sport in my country. It’s very simple and it has huge health benefits for anyone who practices it. I want all Jordanians to know about Kettlebell.”
She has been training hard for four days a week - two days for Jerk and two for Snatch - under the supervision of her coach who connects online with her from USA.
“I learn tactics and techniques on how to keep endurance while you are lifting the bell,” she explained.
Mona said that she is aiming for a place on the podium, but knows she faces some very tough competition.
However, she also realises that the better she performs, the more impact it will make on her home country.
“I hope that a lot of people will hear about what I am doing and be inspired to take up the sport. I am happy to help newcomers out by training them as I want to spread this sport and have more Jordanians competing at upcoming championships.”
Mona said that the opportunities for women in sport in Jordan are improving all of the time and believes they are now competing as well as the men on the international arena.