Zareen Ikramullah is a volunteer for MSA and is currently completing her badminton level 1 coaching award. Having a vast array of opportunities provided by MSA has allowed for coaches and BAME women to be assisted in aspects of sports and personal life. ‘I have learned to be more confident and stand up for what I feel is right.’ Having a sense of responsibility in areas that seem foreign to one’s culture tends to uplift and motivate, as stated by Zareen. Service users are not only given the opportunity to just participate but also attain transferable skills to further excel in the sector through personal growth. ‘I feel I have grown to become a much happier person.
Through MSA, I have been able to attend a number of training events within Redbridge which help and are all part of my personal development.’ MSA really concentrates on getting the most out of the local community as mentioned by Zareen, but the BAME community tends to face barriers within sports which hinders one’s experience. ‘I feel BAME women are looked down on. Society sees us as wives and mothers and not as an individual.
Having responsibilities to fulfill alongside having a passion for sports, brings barriers in itself, especially being a young female wanting to participate in sports or coaching. ‘I would advise going for it’ She further added: ‘In MSA there are lots of women who would like to do sports – especially after having a child.
Female coaches are limited, and we are in need of more!’ This shows that there is always a way to get into or back into sports even after starting a family, and MSA has several members that have fallen within this bracket. However, there is always a demand for female coaches, especially within the BAME community where there are not as many.