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Shanghai Grand Slam presented by Jinshan Xinchen | Men
  1/05/2012 - 6/05/2012

Egyptian referee counting down the days to Olympic debut

Egypt’s Amina El Sergany is set to referee at the Olympic Games in London
Shanghai, China, May 1, 2012 – It is not just the athletes who are anxiously waiting to find out if they have won a coveted spot at the London 2012 Olympic Games, but a number of referees and officials are nervously awaiting notice to pack their bags and head to the British capital this July.

One referee already assured of her place is Egypt’s Amina El Sergany, whose selection completes a meteoric rise since she became a fully qualified FIVB referee in 2011.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “It is such a big event and I hope to learn a lot. I found out from the FIVB website, where my name was the first one on the list.

“I will get more experience, learn more. There are many referees and I will learn from them.”

The primary school teacher from Port Said is something of a rarity on the beach volleyball scene where she wears a head scarf and covers her arms and legs in line with her Muslim teachings.

El Sergany became the first African woman to pass the FIVB referee’s course in 2011 and she hopes her presence on the court will encourage more Muslim women to take up the sport.

Shanghai Grand Prix

“I would like to see it,” she said. “With the rules changing over what they can wear, I hope it encourages more Muslim women to participate in the game.

“I think I am the only one. It makes me proud, especially when they accepted me as a Muslim woman.

“I want to be a good model for Arab, Muslim, African women and for people to look at me and say that they can do it too if they have the courage to do it.”

For now El Sergany is officiating at the Shanghai Grand Slam presented by Jinshan Xinchen and she is also due to referee at the Beijing Grand Slam and the Gstaad 1 to 1 Energy Grand Slam before she makes her Olympic bow.

“I like the excitement and there is a lot of culture from different countries,” she said.

“We have referees from America, from Britain, from China and I can learn from them all.”
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