University of Calgary

Nursing and VBall in Qatar

June 18, 2009
Maroua Rafik Bouafif is balancing her nursing studies with her love for volleyball.
Maroua Rafik Bouafif is balancing her nursing studies with her love for volleyball.

For the love of volleyball

Maroua Rafik Bouafif is a perfect example of how one can lead a balanced lifestyle of studies and athletics.  When she’s not working on her nursing degree at University of Calgary – Qatar, Bouafif is training and practising for another love, volleyball.  She developed her passion for the sport at the age of 11 when her father was a teacher and volleyball coach at the school she attended in her home country of Tunisia.  She’s been playing ever since.  “If all I did was study and go to school, life would be boring,” insists Bouafif.

Now at the age of 22, Bouafif is one of only two non-Qataris on the Women’s National Volleyball Team.  She has competed in a number of events in the Gulf region including two silver medal finishes in the 1st Women Games of the Capitals, Islamic and Asian Countries in 2005 and 2007. “I like volleyball because it is a non-violent, no contact sport.  It keeps me in good physical shape and benefits my coordination and thinking and teamwork skills.  And all the physical gains make me a better student too,” says Bouafif.

Bouafif is now passing on her passion to young Qatari girls.  She’s an assistant coach with a team of 13-16 year olds.  “I like to teach the leadership skills to the children that my father taught me.  I also want them to realize the benefits of staying in good physical condition.  The children are also teaching me how to be patient,” says Bouafif.

As for the future, Bouafif says, “I’ll keep playing indefinitely.  Even when I’m working and I have my own family.”  Bouafif is already passing on a powerful message that she received from her father; a healthy body is as important as a healthy mind. 

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