Making strides

Sky Sports News' Vicky Gomersall blogs on presenting her first Sportswomen show and how a charity is encouraging more Muslim women to play sport.


Last Updated: 27/11/13 7:58am

James Haddock goes to meet Charley Hull

I really enjoyed presenting my first Sportswomen show on Sky Sports News. We focused on the work being done to get more women from the Muslim community involved in sport. I had a fascinating chat with guest Rimla Akhtar who is the Chair of the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation.

Rimla, who is nominated for the Community Award at The Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards, volunteers tirelessly for this charity encouraging more Muslim women to engage in sport and adopt a more active lifestyle. What really resonates with me is that Rimla grew up playing football and felt the pitch was somewhere she could play and was only judged on her ability to score goals rather than her religious beliefs.

James Haddock goes to meet Charley Hull

This is something she's really keen to impart on other young Muslim women so they feel able to take part in sport. But she's also eager to help the governing bodies become more aware of some of the cultural and religious requirements these girls may need in order to participate.

The good news is that the work Rimla does is welcomed by many organisations and she feels that the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation are making great strides.

We also caught up with teenage golf sensation Charley Hull at her home in Kettering. Cast your mind back to the summer when Charley beat the massively experienced Paula Creamer in her singles match at the Solheim Cup to help Europe lift the trophy.

Life has changed a lot for her since then but she's a real character and very down to earth. What was lovely to see was the support her dad Dave has given her throughout her life. He's a very proud man and Charley told us that her love of the sport is largely down to the fact he never pushed her into it.

Jane Dougall has been to meet Muslim footballer Saddiqa Shan and her family in Birmingham to explore the cultural and religious considerations.

Charley is shortlisted for the Young Sportswoman of the Year at the Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards - really deserved in my opinion as she is a terrific role model for any aspiring young sportswoman.

We also went behind the scenes with Kate Rees, the Head Physio at Swansea City, to find out more about her daily life. She's got a great working relationship with all the players and the coach Michael Laudrup.

It's quite a unique situation as several football clubs don't have many women on their first team staff but Kate is far from fazed by being surrounded by the team.