Sporting Equals latest case study - Somali Women

Sporting Equals teamed up with Tennis foundation to promote inclusion & engage Somalian women & girls (underrepresented and disadvantaged group).


The Dery Foundation is a charitable organisation which provides advice, support including tackling extremism, education and learning to the Somali community who are affected by linguistic and cultural barriers. 

Local Issues

  • Traditional club settings restricted this community with barriers around faith, timings and provision especially for parents with young children.
  • Women in particular needed more accessible options in local settings.
  • Groups from this community were becoming more frequently disengaged with mainstream provision & lack of opportunities to engage with physical activity.
  • Tennis has provided a good diversionary activity & a tailored local offer. 


  • Activator training allowed community volunteers to provide a flexible tennis offer at any time and in any setting to meet the needs of their community.
  • Visibility of the sessions in local parks has encouraged further involvement from the local communities.
  • The project addressed barriers for Somali women & girls, increasing their engagement with tennis.
  • Weekly sessions have enabled the community to adapt an active & healthier lifestyle

 “The tennis equipment & training has been a brilliant tool to engage families. Families who had previously never spoken to each other before now are interacting through tennis”

Shukri Mohammed, Dery Foundation


Key Learning:

  • Consult the community & understand the cultural norms of your audience.
  • Create Role Models by offering training & advice.
  •  Offer provision in local community based settings.
  • Support & encourage communities to take ownership to enable sustainability.