When the MWSN was founded in March 2017, its objectives were based on insight from actual Muslim women in sport around the world. From London to Sydney, Jeddah to Toronto, the circumstances of Muslim women may have differed, but the collective desire was to act and enable Muslim women to amplify their own voices through our platform and to right the wrongs established by an exclusionary sports industry. This collaborative effort is to take place in the form of advising, campaigning and educating. The 2018 Virtual Summit – Innovators in Sport – is the first of its kind and will aim to achieve all three of the MWSN’s objectives.
Muslim women around the world have been and are actively engaging in sport at various levels as athletes, program managers, journalists, coaches, administrators, researchers, executives and much more. The discourse has repeatedly been focused on stereotypical narratives and policy decisions have been void of any meaningful consultation, engagement or leadership from the very individuals affected.
Innovators in Sport will be delivered by Muslim women to change the status quo on how Muslim women in sport are perceived, consulted and reported on. It will showcase inspirational women in sport who lead, inform and display best practices across multiple strands of sports. The conference will aim to educate and inspire through keynote presentations, panels, leadership and insight that will cover the areas of sport for development, leadership and athlete activism. Attendees can expect to hear from innovators across these areas who can provide the latest insights and opinions with respect to Muslim women in sport and their wider contributions to the sports industry. This is about sports industry contributors who just happen to be Muslim women.
In the current global climate, it has become even more important for Muslim women to raise their voices and showcase the unique contributions they make to this complex industry. Growing up as the only Muslim woman in sport from school to county levels and beyond, there were zero role models who looked like me and so building a foundation of a diverse range of role models for future generations has always been a passion. This foundation has been possible through the efforts of those, like me, who desired to provide more hope for the possibilities and opportunities for these future generations.
The time is now. We intend to seize it.