Next generation of Moroccan golfers breaks stereotypes

Above: Young golfers competing in Morocco Srixon Junior Tour championships practice on the putting green at Mogador Golf Course. By 2020, half of all licensed golfers are expected to be juniors. (Photo by Katie Koontz)

by Katie Koontz

ESSAOUIRA, Morocco – One dusty dirt road separates the small village of Diabat from Mogador Golf Course. Diabat is made up of a string of homes where everyone knows each other. Kids in white uniforms run down the hill to the schoolhouse, goats wander between buildings, and dogs chase the occasional car down the unpaved road.

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Soccer in Morocco: Gateway to a Life Across Seas


Hardened concrete ripping through his thin socks, the only barrier between his feet and the pavement, Anwar Sbiyaa scores three of the seven goals for his team. Sbiyaa, a 20 year-old local of Sbaa Rouadi, a rural village in Morocco, plays with a group of American college students facing off against a team of local Moroccans from his neighborhood.

Sbiyaa’s love and dedication to soccer is what led him to think that the game could be his gateway out of the village’s streets. Unfortunately, circumstances have not led him to the path he envisioned.

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