The Spring and Summer of 2024 is shaping up quite nicely in the sporting world for a number of reasons…

However, for the blog team here at SW/S, it’s the fact that our little group of sports-obsessed, dedicated and fantastic ladies are gaining some new members. With Morven, and myself busy as busy can be it’s superb to have some teammates to bring a fresh new perspective to the site.

So, get yourself a cuppa, take a seat, and have a read with me all about the two newest members of the team, Emily and Fatima.

So, a whistle-stop tour on me.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a family surrounded by sport, from swimming, to dance, to Taekwondo… you name it, I did it! I was always quite quiet when I was younger, but sport was always somewhere I could be myself and let myself be confident. As a competitive individual, I didn’t really mind if it was boys or girls, I would be swimming alongside or fighting with… as long as it was a challenge and good competition.

As I grew up, I stayed very much in tune with sports but began to stick to a couple,
dance became my main sport. I competed nationally with this at university while also being Social Secretary, Vice President and ultimately President of my university dance club too. Around this time, I started to realise that although I had loved sport my whole life, and taken part in it since I could remember, I had shied away from the male-dominated sports I had once loved and also realised I knew nothing about female health in sports to support myself or others. After my undergraduate degree, I decided I wanted to change this and do something about it, so I went to study for my sports psychology master’s and completed my thesis around menstrual health in sports. This was an amazing opportunity to speak to other women and girls to understand their experiences while also adding to research in this
area to help others.

That brings me to where I am now. I am currently working as the Disability Development Manager at Cricket Scotland where I have the opportunity to cultivate inclusive sport nationwide. As well as this, I have launched my own consultancy agency aimed to help women understand their own female and menstrual health in sport through 1-to-1’s, workshops, and podcasts, to name a few. This is only the
beginning, but it’s exciting to think of what may come.

It’s safe to say, that sport has and still is a massive part of my life, in my career but also within my personal life. Nowadays I still swim, occasionally dance (when I can), but try to avoid any fighting! However, I have also found a new love of sports like badminton, tennis, golf and running in my adult life. These help give me variety and stability alongside two jobs, the gym, general life, volunteering and clients… who says you can’t do it all?

I wanted to get involved with SW/S as I currently mentor on the Young Women in Sport Leadership program which has been amazing to work with the team, meet young women, and get to see how we are changing the foundations to give girls more of a chance in sports leadership. As well as this, SW/S offers women and girls of all ages a space to feel as though they belong in sport, especially sport in Scotland.

The sports sphere can be a difficult place to navigate as a woman sometimes, but SW/S constantly works to break down these barriers, how could I resist becoming part of it?

I’m excited to get writing blogs, interviewing inspirational women, and sharing their stories with everyone to make a positive difference in women’s sports, in Scotland.

Looking back, I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t playing sports. Growing
up homeschooled meant I got involved with many extracurricular activities – sports
became the place where I made my friends and spent most of my time. During school
exams, my passion for sports continued to grow as it enabled me to have a mental break and
a physical output while I was studying that were just as important to my mental
health as they were to my academic performance. The work of organisations like Scottish
Women in Sport and SportScotland’s Fit for Girls is so important. Since many girls end up
dropping out of sports during puberty or high school and therefore miss out on these benefits.

I feel fortunate to have played and experienced a myriad of different sports throughout my
life, including tennis, horseriding and swimming although my main sports growing up were
martial arts and cricket. Being on SportScotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel has also given me the opportunity to experience a number of different exciting sports like pickleball,
netball and boccia. This background playing and participating in different sports showed
me how there really is a sport that fits everyone – it’s just a matter of promoting a
range of sports so people have the information and knowledge to get involved. This is
yet another reason why I’m keen to get involved with Scottish Women in Sport since they
promote and educate individuals on the diverse range of sports available to women.

Although I’ve had largely positive experiences with both, having two traditionally male-
dominated sports, martial arts and cricket as my main sports growing up, and continuing to
play cricket at club, regional and national levels, I’ve definitely experienced and witnessed
drawbacks to participating as the only girl on the boys’ teams. At times being underestimated, not always fitting in, in teams or even things as simple as using the
changing rooms. The encouragement and support that I’ve received from my family and
coaches have definitely been the driving force in getting me past any drawbacks or setbacks
that I’ve faced. Additionally, the speed at which women’s cricket is developing in Scotland is
immensely positive, as the creation of new levels of women’s cricket leagues in Scotland presents much more approachable options for young girls looking to get into the sport. 

At the beginning of 2023, I interviewed and got selected for SportScotland’s Young People’s Sport Panel; a board that aims to give young sportspeople a voice and the opportunity to represent their experiences and shape the future of sport in Scotland. I’ve had some amazing experiences on the panel; being surrounded by a cohort of like-minded, inspirational fellow panel members and supported by the incredible staff who run the panel and work together to remove barriers around gender, race and disability that currently exists in sport, aiming to increase the accessibility of sport in Scotland. My goals in sport centre around increasing this accessibility within sport and presenting the stories,
experiences and successes of individuals who have faced setbacks or barriers within sport.

I’m keen to support and be involved with Scottish Women in Sport, since their focus on
Celebrating women’s sporting success and promoting and educating individuals about the
world of female sport is incredibly inspirational and something that I cannot wait to continue to be a part of.

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