Granby Somali Women’s Group

Football for BME young women in Liverpool

Granby Somali Women’s Group (GSWG) is a charity based in Toxteth, Liverpool. Since 1998, the group, along with project worker Fatima, has played a vital role in the community, providing BME women and families who face a language barrier with a bilingual drop-in service, as well as Female Genital Mutilation awareness projects.


In 2013, Fatima approached Sported for help developing a structured sports programme for the young women. A few activities had been run ad-hoc during the summer holidays, but Fatima had some very clear objectives in mind. Sported placed a volunteer mentor with GSWG, Kate Hughes, and a football project for girls began to develop.

We’d never run a sports project before, but with the mentor’s help I learnt to write funding bids that were sports-specific; budgeting for revenue and expenditure for sporting activities was not something I’d attempted before. The support Sported gave us was invaluable. The financial support gave us a kick start but it was the mentoring that really prepared us for running a sport project successfully.

The project was designed to remove accessibility barriers to sport for Black Muslim young women. GSWG now has a girl’s football team training twice a week, not only improving their health but also their self-esteem and emotional health. It has also meant that the young women are travelling outside their immediate community for matches, interacting with other young women from different backgrounds to themselves.

Fatima: “In the beginning, the girls were very shy and tended to keep to themselves. As the project has gone on they’ve become more confident in themselves and their abilities. Even the sweets and fizzy drinks have been replaced by water and fruit!”