Sport bodies join forces to support Asian women’s sport participation in east London

A coalition of four leading sports bodies supported by Redbridge Vision, the Football Association and the Black, Asian Coaches Association have announced the imminent launch of a new project designed to tackle low levels of participation among female minority ethnic groups in the London Borough of Redbridge.

Working with 12 local Asian women, London Sport, Sporting Equals, Muslimah Sports Association and Essex FA will provide tailored and targeted support to help develop coaches better able to represent the needs and considerations of their local communities. Facing one of the highest levels of inactivity in London, Redbridge's higher than average concentration of Asian residents makes it a particularly interesting environment to explore the role of local community coaches in getting less active people into physical activity and sport.

Commenting on the project, Dean Nevill, London Sport's Specialist Advisor for Workforce said:

London's diversity is one of its great strengths, but it also presents a challenge in understanding the different social and cultural expectations that influence people's decisions to take part in physical activity and sport. Nationally, women and people of minority ethnic backgrounds face more barriers to being active than many of their peers, and these trends hold particularly true within particular areas of London. By working with experts from Sporting Equals, Muslimah Sports Association and Essex FA we hope that this project will really empower Asian women in Redbridge to become more active, and ultimately provide an indication of similar interventions that could be rolled out across London in the future.”

Arun Kang, Chief Executive Officer at Sporting Equals, said:

Asian women are significantly underrepresented in sport when it comes to participation, coaching as well as in the boardrooms.  That is why Sporting Equals are a partner of this initiative. We hope that it will inspire more women and girls from the Asian communities to get involved in sport and particularly coaching in football. It will help to tackle the barrier of the lack of role models in sport.

Yashmin Harun, Chair of Muslimah Sports Association, said:

“MSA are extremely proud to be part of something which is so ground-breaking in the development of Women's football. Having more Muslim women as coaches will break down barriers and make football more accessible for minority ethnic females. To see the hard work done by all the partners come to fruition is absolutely brilliant. MSA would like to thank all the partners for their support, dedication and perseverance in this project.” 

Andrew Crowl, Senior Football Development Officer, Essex FA, said:

“This project highlights the successful partnerships that have been established in the local area and we look forward to supporting these individuals on their coaching journey. We hope that this can be a springboard for further football participation and workforce development across our London Boroughs; particularly for female participants and individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds”.

Cindi Chatha, Equality & Inclusion Officer, Essex FA, said:

“As an organisation we are constantly working towards creating a diverse workforce that represents our County. This project highlights one of the many programmes we are delivering to engage with the wider community.  The ladies on the course are not only inspiring other within their community, but are role models to the next generation of females from a BAME background.  We hope that this will inspire others to actively participate within football.”

The project will run through the first half of 2017, with findings to be reported after the project's conclusion.



Data and Statistics

·         50% of Redbridge's population is female in line with 50% across London as a whole

·         36.6% of Redbridge's population is Asian compared with 16.2% across London as a whole

·         35% of people in Redbridge are classified as inactive, and 17% insufficiently active compared to 27% and 15.2% respectively for London as a whole


About London Sport

London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get 1,000,000 Londoners more physically active by 2020.

London Sport has five strategic objectives:

·         Make it easier for Londoners to find the right activity, remain in it and achieve their potential

·         Get more resources by making the best use of what we have, while securing more

·         Support grassroots organisations by making the sector simpler and better

·         Create a bigger and better workforce to support activity

·         Harness the power of elite sport to create sustained grassroots activity and inspire the next generation of talent

For more information on London Sport, visit

About Muslimah Sports Association

Muslimah Sports Association are a volunteer led community group set up in 2014 with the overarching aim to promote opportunities for women of all backgrounds, especially Muslim and BAME, to participate in a variety of sports without compromising their religious or cultural beliefs. Through catering for and raising awareness of their needs, we aim to increase the number of women involved in sports through playing, coaching, refereeing and/or volunteering in sports.

Further information please visit our Facebook page:

About Essex FA

Essex County FA is committed to developing football opportunities for all across the County.

Essex FA has four key strategic priorities:

·         Sustain and increase participation

·         Better training and playing facilities

·         Develop the football workforce

·         Better coaches and players 


For more information, please visit    


For further information or interview opportunities, contact:

Christopher Scott | Corporate Communications Manager, London Sport | 07498 753 851