Women's Sports: This Muslim women's netball team shows how sport can foster inclusion

The club was founded in 2017 by two LSE students

2017 Sport England analysis found that among Muslim women only 18% say they participate in sport regularly.

But Religion News reports that one London-based netball team is finding a new way by creating a team that is a welcoming environment for Muslim women. 

The team called ISOC (an acronym for Islamic society) Netball was founded by two London School of Economics (LSE) students, Faiza Siddiqi and Hibah Rizki in 2017.

They have since graduated but the team has grown from ten LSE students to a club that has members from universities across London. In 2019 they hosted their first tournament.

Rizki told Religion News: “Having started the club over two years ago, it feels amazing to see how far it has come.” 

She added: “The team has evolved and become a place where girls from all universities feel welcome. I think it offers students the opportunity to practice sport without judgment and make new friends.”

The clubs current captain, Amina Hassan a biomedical student at St George's, University of London, echoed this sentiment telling the news outlet: “Muslim women are very underrepresented in sports.”

She explained: “You only see the standout ones, and none of us feels like we can get to that point. And even if we wanted to, there’s nowhere to play.”

ISOC Netball creates an inclusive environment for Muslim women, space where they don't feel conspicuous for wearing uniforms that align with their beliefs or taking prayer breaks. Hassan says about their daily evening prayer: “When it hits maghrib time at 4:30 (p.m.), everyone’s just lined up on the court praying.”

She recalled: “These guys made me lead the prayer last week. You can’t do that at any other league.”

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