An exciting new five-a-side football league for Asian and ethnic minority women has been formed by the Middlesex FA alongside Harrow Council to remind everyone it is not just a man's game.
The new league – the first of its kind in London – has been set up to bring more Asian and ethnic minority players into the beautiful game across North West London.
Set to be named The Middlesex Women Desi Football League, the competition has now been recognised by the Football Association, and while it is open to all women’s football teams the venture is particularly targeting black and ethnic minority players.
Barnet FC and QPR Community Trust coach Sheena Hirani, 25, from Harrow, set up the league in partnership with Middlesex FA after recognising that there was a growing demand in the area.
She said: “I wanted to set up the league to give Asian females an opportunity to play and encourage more women and girls from Harrow and Brent to participate in football.
"We started on a small scale with just a few teams so we could gauge their response. The feedback we received was positive and I now want to get more teams from all backgrounds involved.”
The league first ran as a pilot scheme in September and four teams from across Harrow and Brent took part in a six-week tournament.
After getting positive feedback from the event, Harrow Council will support the league on an on-going basis and will re-launch it in February.
Harrow Council leader Councillor Susan Hall (Conservative), who was the borough’s first demale leader, said in support of the league: “Football has for a long time been seen as a man’s game but is increasingly becoming more popular with women and girls and we are seeing many rising talents among female players.
“This league not only encourages more women to play but also reflects the diverse cultural make-up of our borough. I hope to see more projects like this in the future.”
Ciara Allan, women and girls football development officer for Middlesex FA, added: " Female football across the county has grown dramatically over the last year and continues to do so.
“As a County FA we are doing everyathing we can to offer flexible formats of the game which are truly designed to recruit and retain players within the sport that we all love.
“The Desi division has been a fantastic programme and alongside the newly formed friendly division we are pleased to offer an innovative approach to re-engaging females.”
To get involved, contact Ciara Allan, from Middlesex County FA at Ciara.email@example.com