Reema Al Juf­fali — break­ing bar­ri­ers

The Hindu - - SPORT - Sports Re­porter

Saudi Ara­bian driver Reema Al Juf­fali has be­come a trend-set­ter and bro­ken bar­ri­ers in her coun­try.

Prior to end-June 2018, women were de­tained and ar­rested for driv­ing a car in that coun­try and three months af­ter the ban was lifted, 26-year-old Reema be­came the first Saudi woman to earn a racer’s li­cence.

Pas­sion for driv­ing

In the city to take part in the MRF Chal­lenge, Reema spoke about her pas­sion for driv­ing, the de­ci­sion to take the plunge and her role as a role model for Saudi women. The 26-year-old said, “women started driv­ing in Saudi in June last year and my first race was in Oc­to­ber. So, it’s like okay, this is not just a big step for Saudi women, but we can also have this (rac­ing).”

Trac­ing her in­ter­est in mo­tor rac­ing, she said, “It started in col­lege when I be­gan watch­ing For­mula One and got fa­mil­iar with rac­ing. When I grad­u­ated, I gave my­self a grad­u­a­tion gift with a three-day rac­ing school in a For­mula car.

“It was an eye-filling ex­pe­ri­ence. That was the first time I was in a race car and that was the start of it.

“Over­whelm­ingly it has been pos­i­tive like 95-98%. The neg­a­tive com­ments are like a nee­dle in the haystack.”

SPE­CIAL AR­RANGE­MENT ■

Reema.

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