We caught up with the ‘I Think She’s Offside’ podcast hosts and Girls Active Ambassadors, Lipa Nessa and Fadumo Olow at the first England match against Scotland in Nice to get their take on the Girls Active programme and how it can help shape school sport for future generations of girls.
Q: What makes the Girls Active programme different and why is it important?
Fadumo: What makes the Girls Active programme so good is that it doesn’t look for perfection but just helps girls with their potential. Regardless of their sporting or academic performance, it just finds girls that want to do something rather than as finished products and gives them the tools and guidance to deliver the programme. That’s what young people really need, especially girls.
Very few of us are going to be elite athletes. Whether they go on to work in sport or not, they can use the skills they develop from Girls Active in life.
Lipa: It’s amazing having girls who have shared a similar pathway in sport to come together, network and work together and change the way the sport is in their school and possibly for the next generation that comes after them.
Q: Were you sporty at school, what was your own experience like?
Lipa: I was really sporty at school, PE was so important to me it was like the Olympics. I wanted to be the best. But I knew that I needed to work with others and their skills and the level they were at, which I think can make you a better leader. Girls at the Girls Active camp learned about this, figuring themselves out and how to work with other girls regardless of where they are.
Fadumo: I didn’t necessarily enjoy all of my school sporting experiences. When you don’t see people doing stuff you can’t aspire to do it yourself. I didn’t see many women, or girls of colour, especially Muslim girls, doing sport so that was hard. I was involved in the Young Ambassador programme with the Youth Sport Trust and that helped me to see that there is space to do it and a way to progress things. I come back to the YST to do things and I’m constantly there with a learning hat on because there’s always more to learn and understand to change things and improve things.
Fadumo and Lipa will be giving a behind the scenes experience of their ‘I Think She’s Offside’ podcast to one of the Girls Active Award winners and talking about how they have worked as youth ambassadors for the Youth Sport Trust as well as created their own podcast and worked with a number of brands, talking about how the face of sport needs to change for women and girls.