A diversity project aimed at promoting the participation of Muslim women and girls in soccer has been shortlisted for the prestigious Beyond Sport Awards.
Hijabs and Hat Tricks, an initiative of Sport Against Racism Ireland (Sari), is the only Irish entry out of 350 received from 60 countries to make the final list.
The project, started by Sari’s young leaders Abdul Hajji, Abdul Abdullah and Azeez Yusuff, is in contention for Beyond Sport Awards’ Best New Project prize, along with the Philippines’ Football for Life: Tacloban and the UK’s Leigh Park Project.
Metro Éireann has learned that all 36 nominees across 10 categories will be invited to the Beyond Sport Summit taking place in London from 19-21 October, where the winners will be announced at the prestigious awards ceremony on the second day of the event.
The seventh annual Beyond Sport Summit “will bring together the world of sport, business, government and community development with a powerful and timely theme, ‘Beyond The Divide’, which addresses how sport can be used to reduce ignorance, discrimination and exclusion,” read a statement from the organisers, who added that the awards “promote, support and reward the best projects across the globe that are using sport for positive social change.
“Since 2009, Beyond Sport has awarded over $4m worth of business support and funding has been made available to over 150 winning projects for their innovations and impact through sport.”
As a finalist, Sari will receive a bespoke business support package with opportunities for business mentoring, and become a member of “an influential group of social entrepreneurs in the sporting and financial sphere”.
A win for Hijabs and Hat Tricks, meanwhile, would see Sari receive funding from the Beyond Sport Foundation courtesy of Comic Relief.
Sari is also inline for a special judges’ award should the judging panel decide the soccer diversity project stands out above the rest of the shortlist.