Guila Mohajer paving the way for women’s ice hockey in Iran
By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey
Meet Guila Mohajer who is the first and only female Ice hockey player in Iran. We like to thank Keith McAdams who introduce her to us and we had a opportunity to ask her a few questions about hockey in Iran.
Can you tells us a little bit about yourself ?
My name is Guila Mohajer. I am from Iran and among the first female group who began playing inline hockey in the country. That was about 12 years ago in my hometown of Rasht, a small green city near the Caspian Sea.
It was maybe twice I had encountered hockey on TV until now, not attracting me just because of the shape of the puck. But once my coach gave me a stick suggesting me to have a try at it.
I had an epiphany that inline hockey is exactly the sport I had always been looking for. The explosive moves I began to use in the games made me become fond of it more. However, despite of having strong boys’ teams, any girls’ teams could not be established in the city. We were even deprived of a coach after a while. The only thing which I could rely on was internet resources and our house’s backyard to learn the basic techniques of hockey.
4 years passed in this way until I graduated from the university in BS of Electronics Engineering and moved to the capital Tehran so that I could continue inline hockey with a team and coaches on the only rink specialized for inline hockey in the country at that time.
Meanwhile, the first women’s inline hockey league was also organized. So I passed the next 6 years by playing in annual leagues, tournaments and being a member of national team for Asian championships cup, giving up my field of study and working as an inline skating coach.
Then ice hockey opened a new world much more enjoyable, exciting and greater to me. In a way that all my dreams became finding a way to improve in it as much as I can. I have even made a decision to put all my efforts to find opportunities to improve my coaching skills so that I can help to the development of this beautiful sport in my country.
How did you discover the game of ice hockey?
I always had a desire to try ice hockey after I attended the first ice skating coaching program in Iran. That was such an amazing experience and it lead me to start seriously searching for a proper opportunity to be able to try all aspects of ice hockey and Turkey gave it to me for the first time last year.
What attract you to the game of ice hockey?
Ice hockey for me is a mixture of many amazing features :
The feeling that a sheet of ice gives me by just gliding over it, the sound of ice cracking beneath my feet while making such fantastic explosive moves, the blowing of breeze while speeding up, the art shown by the dexterity of hands and feet in the techniques, the demanding of ultimate teamwork, concentration and mental abilities to win…
All these attributes come together in ice hockey make it an all-in-one sport for me so that I can find everything I want from sports in it.
Guila Mohaje in game action
Outside of yourself are there any other women that play ice hockey?
At the present time, there is just me who plays ice hockey professionally. But I am hopeful that by establishing more facilities throughout the country the number will increase rapidly in near future.
At the moment you are practicing by yourself, do have any plans in joining a club team in the
Last season Turkey gave me an opportunity for the first time to join one of its great teams.
I’d like to thank everybody who made this wonderful experience happen for me. I meet lots of great coaches and players, received lots of favors and gained lots of valuable experiences there. Totally it was a turning point in my life and hockey.
Now, my dream is to play in a country which has a great passion and professional facilities and environment for hockey to improve faster and reach it’s full potential. I haven’t found yet, but I am seriously searching, ready to go to extremes and hopefully waiting to find this opportunity to achieve my goals.
Guila Mohajer playing in Turkey
Right now Iran has Inline hockey, but are there any future plans to have organize ice hockey leagues in the country?
I can see great tendency about it among both athletes and officials. There is such great desire that I think establishing ice hockey rinks in different parts of the country will absolutely lead to formation of such leagues immediately.
Are there any future plans to form a Iran Women’s National Team?
At the moment, the lack of facilities makes situation hard for it to happen. I think everything depends on the expanding of facilities in this sport.
Women have just recently been allowed to attend live sporting events in Iran, how has this helped women sports?
This could definitely be a turning point in Iran’s women sports, If continuing. It highlights women sports in the society more and by increasing motivation among female athletes and sponsors, It makes women sports boom faster.
Iran has just form a Men’s National team to compete at the Asian Winter Games. When do you think a women’s team will play at a major event?
It depends on the officials decisions, of course, because of the lack of financial resources and facilities the major focus is on men’s team right now to start competing in such events. This will surely pave the way for more women ice hockey too. However, there are lots of women players who want to keep up with the men internationally, and their drive can overcome obstacles in playing at such events.
Is the game of Ice hockey shown on Television?
Right after planning to form the Men’s National team, for the first time we had live stream of the games from the 2016 world championships on TV, but I think if there is a strong plan to develop Iran’s ice hockey program it should be shown much more of it on TV, because it influences a lot.
Is there Anything else you would like to say to the Iranian people about the game?
I’d like to tell the Iranians that ice hockey is a wonderful sport, full of excitement which girls and boys, women and men of every age can enjoy. Your support by any means can play an important role in the development of this great sport and as a result benefiting of its amazing features among yourself and our community.
I’d also like to tell our female athletes interested in hockey that there are lots of deficiencies and barriers in women ice hockey in many other countries too. But I’ve seen a lots of women of all ages from different countries whose passion of ice hockey makes them keep going on and overcome the difficulties to enjoy what they love. So we can still find ways to enjoy hockey and make others enjoy too.