Middlesex-based Black Arrows Badminton Club have been praised by the award winning Muslimah Sports Association (MSA) for their unrelenting efforts to expand badminton participation and court time access within Muslim communities.
The Black Arrows who last year set up weekly badminton taster sessions exclusively for women of the Muslim faith, played an instrumental role in helping Muslim Sports Association win the Faezah Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport at the acclaimed Muslim News Awards.
The award recognises outstanding sporting achievement or initiation of a sports project for the benefit of the Muslim community and was presented to the MSA in front of such dignitaries as Sajid Javid MP and Baroness Warsi.
It is an award with a lavish past winners history, including celebrated Olympian Mo Farah and England cricketer Moeen Ali.
Speaking on the award, a spokesperson said: “It was a surprise to be nominated and we are overjoyed to have won such a prestigious award, especially against such a talented shortlist.
“Sports for women, especially Muslim women, gives them an outlet for Individualism so it is a great privilege to be given recognition for our work.”
The Muslimah Sports Association (MSA) was established in 2014 and started out delivering ladies only basketball. This has very quickly expanded into offering ‘female only’ session in eight others sports with badminton, led by Black Arrows, being one of the most popular.
With over 40 female attending each week, these sessions have helped the ladies to develop their confidence and self-esteem allowing them to form social groups outside of badminton where they can socialise.
The ladies have also taken part in a ladies only tournament for club members whilst 14 of the group have expressed an interest to undertake their Badminton Level 1 coaching qualification so they can work with Black Arrows to continue to growth of the community sessions.
Black Arrows spokesman Henry T Gaspard said: “We are pleased that Yashmin and MSA has been recognised for the valuable work that they do for providing sporting opportunities for women, but in particular Muslim women.
“At Black Arrows we see ourselves at the forefront of community badminton. Each week we deliver over 40 hours coaching to 11 local schools, 4 colleges and 2 universities as well running club nights for eight clubs and disability sessions across North and East London.
The partnership with MSA has been a tremendous success and we look forwards to our continued involvement.”