University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union celebrates first Islamic women’s football team during #ThisGirlCan week

The University of Sheffield’s Islamic Circle Society is breaking down barriers and stereotypes of women in sport with the launch of its first women’s football team.

The new football team is celebrating its successful launch during #ThisGirlCan week, which promotes and celebrates women in sport at all levels.

To mark the national campaign, from 2 – 10 March 2019, the University of Sheffield Student’s Union will be celebrating women in sport and giving students the opportunity to try new activities

Recent studies from Women in Sport have found that 1.5 million more men play sport compared to women each week and 40 per cent of women in the sport industry face gender discrimination.

Despite having opportunities for women to play sport casually, the University’s Islamic Circle Society has never had a women’s football team playing in the intra-mural league until this season.

Captain of the Islamic Society’s women’s football team, Ambar Shabbir, said: “When I joined the society I noticed that the amount of women’s sports didn’t match the men’s, who had things going on all the time. I joined to make a bit of a change to that, and until now the girls have never had a team in the league so it was quite a big deal.

“We don’t train, we just turn up to have fun. Some girls find it difficult to get into playing sport, especially with a hijab as it’s not widely seen, but it’s just a matter of giving girls the confidence to do it and feel good about doing it.

“Now that I’ve put one team into the league, I’m hoping the next officer in the society carries on and enters again next year.”

#ThisGirlCan week at the University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union has been organised by the Sports Officer and Sports Committee as part of the wider Women’s History Month.

Sports Officer at the University of Sheffield’s Student Union, Sarah Morse, said: “Championing gender equality and celebrating women in sport is something we are really passionate about. I am particularly excited to host #ThisGirlCan week with the University, to celebrate female athletes, as well as encourage more women to get involved in sport.

“We hope to challenge the stereotypes and celebrate women who represent the University of Sheffield through all types of sporting participation. It doesn’t matter what level you are or if you have never played sport before, this week is a perfect chance to try.”

A wide range of events will take place during #ThisGirlCan week, including social sport and club sport sessions, a Women on Wheels day, panel discussions, debates and film screenings, all with a focus on encouraging and empowering all women in sport.

To find out more about #ThisGirlCan week and see a full listing of events, visit:

For more information about the Islamic Circle Society, visit:


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