Mais Khoury plotting a course for female rugby coaches in Jordan

World Rugby talks to the 30-year-old Jordan international, who has grand plans for the women’s game in the Middle Eastern nation.

Mais Khoury is determined to lead by example as she attempts to blaze a trail for female coaches in Jordan.

Khoury, who was part of the Jordan squad that made its international debut at the Asia Rugby West Women’s Sevens tournament in Qatar in 2019, had been drawn to coaching since the day she first picked up an oval ball in 2014.

She was given the chance to follow that dream with a local NGO, Aurora, a youth development organisation that aims to empower children through a “holistic sports education programme”.

Khoury has faced challenges while doing what she loves, especially in rural areas where “communities are not used to having women outside their household”.

However, the 30-year-old has not been discouraged by those experiences, and is keen to show young women and girls in Jordan that rugby is a sport for them.

“I would love to see more female players and coaches,” Khoury told World Rugby. 

“We have worked so long and hard to grow women's rugby in Jordan and we will not stop here. Great coaches become great leaders and I would love to see every woman as a leader.”

‘My team became my family’

In terms of her wider goals in coaching, Khoury added: “I definitely hope rugby reaches more people inside my country and worldwide. 

“I would love to pass on my experience and the values I learned to as many players as I can.”

Khoury first came into contact with rugby six years ago, when Nomads Rugby Club in Amman set up a women’s team.

“I gave the game a try and instantly joined the team,” she said.

“The concept of the game was new to me. I have always been into group sports, however the high demand of physical and mental strength as well as teamwork in rugby is what made me fall in love with rugby. 

“On a more personal level, rugby is not only a game. The field became a home and my team became my family.”

Coaching goals

Khoury continues to play for both Nomads and Jordan while coaching with Aurora. There are now three female teams in the Middle Eastern country, who play each other twice a year.  

Khoury says her work with Aurora has taught her “one of the most valuable lessons in my life”.

“Life is more than our everyday problems,” she explained. 

“The children I coached took me back to the simplicity of life. They taught me brotherhood, respect and genuineness. 

“Working with the NGO showed me the potential and the willingness to learn that children have. Many are eager to learn and with the right tools you can shape the young not only into good players but successful ones as well.”

Khoury is therefore hopeful that rugby’s popularity in Jordan can continue to grow as more, and younger, women come into contact with the game.

“I look forward to growing women's rugby in Jordan, increasing the number of players and clubs and get recognised worldwide,” she said. 

“There is great potential in every female rugby player in Jordan that is waiting to come out.”

READ MORE: World Rugby launches Women Coaching Rugby Toolkit to recruit and retain more female rugby coaches >>

Last updated: Aug 21, 2020 2:15:12 PM
Photo of Jess Breach scoring a try for England against Ireland in the Women's Six Nations Championship 2020
Women's Rugby World Cup News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 RWC2021
Jess Breach: England winger has eyes set on Rugby World Cup 2021
England and Harlequins Women winger Jess Breach chats to World Rugby about her hopes for Rugby World Cup 2021.
WRWC 2017 semi-final: New Zealand v USA
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021
10 of the greatest women’s Rugby World Cup tries
With Rugby World Cup 2021 set to kick off in less than 12 months’ time, we take a look at 10 of the best tries ever to be scored at the tournament.
Women's Rugby World Cup trophy
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory women-news-2021 Women-news-coach RWC2021
Rugby World Cup 2021 Coaching interns confirmed as part of one year to go celebrations
All nine Rugby World Cup 2021 qualified teams to avail of Coaching Internship Programme opportunity.
One Year To Go Image
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory women-news-2021 RWC2021
Black Ferns to play opening Rugby World Cup 2021 match at Eden Park
Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand celebrates the one year to go milestone.
WRWC 2017: Final - England v New Zealand
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 RWC2021
Rugby World Cup: The story so far
World Rugby takes a stroll down memory lane to look back at the eight previous women’s editions of Rugby World Cup.
Photo of England DRU v Wales DRU
Men's News Women in Rugby
10 things deaf rugby players want you to know about their sport
We caught-up with players and administrators from the England Deaf Rugby set-up to bust the myths around the sport, from why players sometimes play on past the whistle to how the front row knows when to engage.
Rugby United, Cologne, Germany
Junior Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-regions
Rugby United helps refugee children in Germany rebuild their lives
World Rugby’s Spirit of Rugby partner, Rugby United, has been helping the physical and mental wellbeing of refugee children in Germany for the past four years.
Fiao'o Fammausili and Selica Winiata celebrate winning Rugby World Cup 2017
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021
One year to go: Rugby World Cup 2021 gives New Zealand opportunity to inspire
Farah Palmer, Melissa Ruscoe, Selica Winiata and Rachael Burford look ahead to next September’s tournament, and discuss the impact RWC 2021 could have on New Zealand and beyond.
HSBC Canada Women's Sevens 2019
Women's Sevens News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
From sevens to 15s: The likely stars of New Zealand 2021
We profile seven stars of the sevens circuit ready to make an impact at Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.
Kirby Sefo playing for Queensland
Women's News Women in Rugby women-news-power
Kirby Sefo drawing on her own adversity to inspire young women
The former Wallaroo has created Subbed, a programme which uses rugby to encourage young women to talk about social issues including mental health and sexuality.