Launched seven years ago, the Muslimah Sports Association (MSA) has been working to empower young sportive Muslim women, as well as overcome cultural barriers and funding problems.
Towards that end, the group received a visit from England football stars Beth Mead and Rachel Yankey in an event to promote Nike Pro Hijab 2.0, Ilford Recorder reported.
Yashmin Harun BEM, chair and founder of MSA, said that MSA members were “really chuffed” with the visit and that their WhatsApp group was “buzzing all evening”.
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“Some of our younger players who had training sessions before that, they all went home and came back to try and get photos with them as well, so that was good,” she said.
Established in 2014, MSA grew to gain charity status in 2019. It now offers over 15 sports a week including; Badminton, Basketball, Netball, Karate, Football and Tennis.
The MSA offer their sessions from 7pm onwards to support members with children.
“What we’ve done is taken the sport to them, rather than expecting them to come to us,” said Yashmin.
“It’s a social engagement as well as the activity, so while they’re getting fit they are also having that social engagement with all the other ladies.
“Those that want to play more competitively they have that option, but if you want to play more socially, you’re also able to do that as well.”
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
Last year, a leading American sporting clothing company, “Under Armour Inc.”, unveiled its first hijab for female Muslim athletes.
In December 2017, Nike launched the Nike Pro Hijab to give Muslim athletes a deserved representation in global athletic sportswear.