In 2019 and aged just 23, Yasmin Nessa co-founded the Saltley Women’s Football Club with the aim to bring women of all backgrounds together to enjoy football and make it a more inclusive sport.
Before setting up the club, Yasmin felt that there was little in the way of options for Muslim women in inner city Birmingham to be involved in the game, so she set her sights on improving accessibility in her local community.
Just one year after the club’s pilot programme, Saltley Stallions Football Club secured a main site in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham and now welcomes over 70 young women. More recently, Yasmin and the team have given up their time and spent many hours improving the look of the site, clearing the area, erecting pallets to frame two football pitches and have gained sponsorship from local businesses to host the Men’s Midnight Ramadan League and Women’s Ramadan Fasted Football.
It was always important to Yasmin that the club is welcoming of all abilities because for her, it’s more about having a regular place for women to come together to exercise, than to be restrictive based on skill.
Thanks to Yasmin’s dedication, the club has produced a community of supportive and encouraging women – many of which have seen their confidence soar over the past 18 months.
The club now provides regular training sessions for its participants and weaves mentoring into its programme, focusing on promoting wellbeing, teamwork, empowerment and leadership skills in football and off the pitch.