Sumayyah Rashid participates in the fencing classes, where she has completely ‘fallen in love with the sport.’ Having an organisation like the MSA champions the needs of all, Sumayyah mentioned that ‘MSA was a safe space for me. All the women there were really friendly with each other and it was a welcoming, informal environment.’ MSA is changing the perspective of sport, not for the Muslim community but for other communities with it.
It influences change, as noted by Sumayyah and that change will continue as she progresses within the industry. MSA highly regards a positive change in its participants and coaches. ‘After the first few sessions, I began to notice that I would generally be happier throughout the week. I would feel less stressed and more confident, spending school days wishing for the next MSA fencing session to come and in the meanwhile, practicing and teaching the new fencing techniques that I had learned to my friends at school.’
Creating a community and a sense of belonging for someone so young as Sumayyah really will champion sports for all. As mentioned throughout, the encouragement of female participation from the BAME community is key, especially the involvement of young females within MSA. ‘The MSA could make more public appearances to increase awareness further, as the main methods of a promotion currently seem to be through WhatsApp messages and sometimes by running a sports day.
They could do demonstrations at large public events.’ Sumayyah is very passionate about sport creating a space for more young pioneers of sports, and further added ‘please come visit my school.’ Sumayyah has an exciting future ahead of her, where she can grow with MSA. With a hopeful future of young minds and current generations working together to combat the stigma surrounded by women in sport, so we can see a gradual dilution of sport being foreign.