Game On! - Sporting Equals partner with Scotland to shine a light on British Asian women in sport

At the 21st UK Asian Football Championships, at Ibrox Stadium, it was announced that plans are underway to launch an Asian women's football tournament for 2020. Our CEO Arun Kang was thrilled to see this development following the charity's call to action resulting from the British Asians in Sport and Physical Activity (BASPA) Summit we held in 2018.

We had found that the participation levels for South Asian females in sport were alarmingly low. With 78% not meeting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. In addition to this, 76% were unaware of the Government's recommended guidelines on physical activity.”-  This was alarming given the fact that their white female counterparts were considerably more active. “White British women were recorded to have a 30.20% rate of activity within a 28-day period, whereas South Asian women had a rate of 20.70%.”– Sporting Equals, 2019, (Achieving Equality for Women in Sport). 

The UK Asian Football Championships are organised by the Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association (SEMSA) and are in partnership with Sporting Equals,  Glasgow Life, Glasgow Rangers Football Club, and Glasgow Celtic Football Club. Whilst they have focused on the men's game since their inception, the Championships, from 2020, will now also shine a light on female South Asian players. This was announced following the finals, over the weekend, which saw Azaad FC Sports from Wolverhampton win the men's tournament at Ibrox. This is an exceptionally great triumph for inclusion for sport and has been announced fittingly during national inclusion week!

Arun Kang CEO Sporting Equals commenting on the partnership said:

“I am delighted that Sporting Equals  once again supported the UK Asian Football Championships. I am even more thrilled that Glasgow Life and SEMSA  have agreed to be partners of the BASPA Network. It is wonderful to see the tournament actively taking on the points we had raised in our  (BASPA) Summit Report last year.

"Our charity undertook research that clearly highlighted female British Asians, as largely disengaged with sport and physical activity. To see the UK Asian Football Championships, launch a women's tournament for 2020, marks a huge win for inclusion and diversity."

"With a population of over four million South Asians, it is disappointing that only 12 out of 3,700 professional footballers are of British Asian background. The numbers for women are significantly lower. We are, however, really encouraged to see Glasgow Life and SEMSA's support for the work we are doing with the British Asians in Sport and Physical Activity (BASPA)  Network.

Our aims are clearly aligned; with the UK Asian Football Championships taking their latest initiative to mobilise and engage with British South Asian females in sport. We are hopeful and positive that this will contribute to being a catalyst for more initiatives to promote race equality in sport.

I would, also, like to congratulate both Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic for their wholehearted support as partners to the Championships, for over two decades. Finally, congratulations to Dilawer Singh and the SEMSA committee for their commitment to UK Asian Football and empowering Asian footballers and coaches both male and female.”

Dilawer Singh, President of the Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association (SEMSA) and Tournament organisers welcoming Sporting Equals involvement said:

“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Sporting Equals and appreciate their support for our event which continues to secure endorsement from both Glasgow Rangers and Celtic Football Clubs respectively. We are also excited to be working with Sporting Equals to deliver results surrounding British Asians in Sport and Physical Activity (BASPA).

Furthermore, SEMSA remains committed to the principles of equality, in which we seek to facilitate opportunities with our partners so that we not only achieve sustainable outcomes but do so based on a model of social integration.”

The British Asians in Sport and Physical Activity Leadership Group will meet at Wembley Stadium on the 8th of October to agree plans to tackle the low representation of British Asians across sport in coaching, talent, workforce, leadership and participation.