Over the first three months of 2016, our Club Manager, Linda Strachan, was providing weekly fencing sessions to a group of year 8 girls from Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, as part of the “Muslim Girls Fence” project.
This project (a collaboration between Maslaha, British Fencing and Sport England) challenges prevalent misperceptions of young Muslim women, in light of the complex discrimination experienced by this group on the basis of both faith and gender. The initiative also aims to break down conceptions of fencing as a white-dominated elite sport that is not accessible to young people of all backgrounds.
As a result of this project, a short film entitled “Don’t Fence Me In” has been put together showing the girls (and Linda) in their fencing sessions. The film also shares new visions and reflections of what it really means to be a Muslim girl in the UK today. The film will be released September 2016
“It was an amazing experience to be part of this project. The girls I worked with were not only able to master the basic skills of fencing over a very short period of time, but were also able to share and teach those skills to other young people. I thoroughly enjoyed working with such a talented and passionate bunch of girls,” shared Linda.
Why Muslim Girls Fence [click for larger images]
All photos courtesy of Rehnat Rayatt