By: Dr. Kourosh Resalati

saeedehSaeideh Elli, has been playing basketball for about 20 years, 14 of which she spent playing for the Iran national team. She is currently the captain of the women’s national 3×3 basketball team and before that she was the captain for the national team for seven years. She holds five women super league championships and several runner-up places. She has reached the super league finals nine times in the past ten years.

What challenges have you faced as a female athlete?

The lack of sponsorship and not being seen by fans are some of the major challenges that women face as athletes here in Iran. How do you see your future in sports? Because of the experiences I have gained in international games, I would like to enter the coaching field to be able to pass on my knowledge to the younger players.

Do you have any leisure time, if so, what is your preference in the types of books, films or even the style of music that you listen to?

I often educate myself in my related field such as physical education and nutrition, however I am also interested in philosophy and sociology. I mostly watch comedies and dramas. I like listening to music a lot, especially country and pop.

If one day you become the head of Iran’s women national team, what are the plans you have for female athlete?

I will do anything in my power in order to reach equality between women and men in sports.

If you were to choose another field of study outside of sports, what would it be?

I am very interested in the field of pharmacy and nutrition.

How has the coronavirus affected sports in Iran, especially in the field of basketball?

COVID-19 has created special conditions for athletes, especially in the field of basketball, because of the physical contact that it requires. In the current situation, players should try harder to stay in shape, so they will lower the risk of later injuries.

What are your plans for after your retirement?

Once I retire from playing basketball, I would like to coach basketball and scout and develop talents. I am genuinely interested in becoming a coach.

What do you think the future of sponsorship looks like, knowing the brilliant talents of female players?

Women play an important role in our society. Therefore, promoting and investing in women’s sports not only attracts the audience but also gives us a healthy and vibrant society.

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