Grassroots East London football club makes history and launches their first girls’ football programme

During the COVID-19 pandemic and following on from the BLM protests that took place throughout the summer, FC Leytonstone decided to take positive action.

With the launch of their Under 12’s Girls football team, they are making history for their club. This is the first girls’ team at FC Leytonstone and is part of their wider girls’ football programme which they launched in July 2020.

Keen to take action after the lockdown was lifted in the UK, not only was this an opportunity to get the local youth moving again, but it also presented an opportunity for local girls to build their identity and confidence on and off the pitch.

In the past, South-East Asian Muslim females like myself were not supported culturally to push themselves in sports like football. My generation can change things. We can open doors that were not open for our parents.”

Their very first session saw FC Leytonstone inundated with over 35 girls attending where they were only expecting a maximum of 10 girls to show up.

Girls Programme Head Coach Sabah Mahmood says “This shows the thirst for change in the local community. The local community in Leytonstone are predominantly of Black and South-East Asian origin.

“In the past, South-East Asian Muslim females like myself were not supported culturally to push themselves in sports like football. My generation can change things. We can open doors that were not open for our parents.”

FC Leytonstone is based in the London borough of Waltham Forest which is one of the most diverse areas in the country with 48 per cent of residents from a minority ethnic background.

FC Leytonstone’s Club Chairman Munaf Abhram says: “It had been an aspiration of our football club, to enter a girls football team.

Rizz Patel – Lint Group MD, with Maryam Murad age 10 Khalisa Umarjee age 12 Sabah Mahmood coach, Imani Umergi age 10 Liyana Azad age 9, Club Chairman Munaf Abraham

“Over the last year, we have been working with our partners to create new opportunities and greater capacity for young people to play football and we have put great focus on supporting girls and young ladies to play. With the support of Lint Group, we are now able to launch our first competitive girls’ team.”

The East London football club was founded in 2003 and has continued to provide a platform for young people to play and enjoy football regardless of their background, as well as an opportunity to get them away from the gang and knife culture plaguing our communities. The club now boasts 7 youth team ranging from u8s to u13s as well as a men’s team.

Lint Group’s Managing Director Rizz Patel says: “We believe in promoting equality for all, starting with the youth because they are the future.

“In the midst of the growing awareness of movements such as Black Lives Matter, everybody needs to do their bit to promote change.

“This is a special opportunity for the girls in our community to build their confidence and develop their own identity without barriers.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here