FIRST Robotics Canada Welcomes Afghan Robotics Team


Toronto, ON, (January 9, 2018) – FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Canada is pleased to welcome the renowned all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan to Canada in 2018.

The all-girls robotics team attracted international attention after team members journeyed 800 kilometers to the American Embassy in Kabul, only to have their visas rejected twice preventing them from traveling to the US to participate in FIRST Global Challenge. One week prior to the event, the girls were finally granted entry into the United States and were able to compete.

FIRST Robotics Canada has been following the team closely and were thrilled when the team accepted our invitation to participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season in Ontario. While in Ontario, the Afghan girls will join FRC all-girls team SWAT 771 from St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville to build a robot and participate in competitions. The Afghan girls will participate in a homestay with SMLS families for a portion of their visit. They will attend competitions in Toronto and North Bay taking place in March 2018.

FIRST Robotics Canada is thrilled that the Afghan Robotics teams will be joining us in our district and competing with FIRST Team 771,” says Mark Breadner, President of FIRST Robotics Canada.  “We want to welcome them and are convinced they will have a great experience and make many new friends here in Ontario.”

FIRST Robotics Canada values equity, diversity, and inclusion. FIRST Canada welcomes the opportunity to support these values internationally and provide learning opportunities for teams like the Afghan girls to participate in. Through this shared experience, teams in Ontario will learn as much about lives of teens in Afghanistan as the Afghani girls will learn about life in Canada.



FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international non-profit organization designed to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in science, engineering and technology.  Over 400,000 students participate in FIRST programs worldwide. FIRST Robotics Canada, which was started in 2002, has over 1000 teams in Canada and now reaches over 20,000 Canadian students.  More information can be found at


About SWAT 771

SWAT 771 is the senior Robotics team of St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, an all-girls school in Oakville, and holds the title of being the first Canadian, all-girls team. It remains the only Canadian team to win the prestigious World Engineering Inspiration Award at the FIRST Robotics World Championships. SWAT 771 has mentored girls in Robotics for many years and in 2017 the team visited China to work with novice Chinese teams and host a Girls in FIRST conference.