Bend it like Yasmin: Muslim woman trains football coaches to #breakthebias
- Credit: Yasmin Hussain
Yasmin Hussain gave up football aged 13 when she couldn't find a female coach.
Now; 25 years, three children and a coaching qualification later, Yasmin is teaching other Muslim women across east London to become coaches themselves.
For International Women's Day, we sat down with the coach to understand how she is challenging stereotypes about women in football head on.
"It's so important for children to have female coaches," she said.
"I want to be the change - I want my own two daughters to know they can do anything.
"You don't see many Asian Muslim women on the pitch, and we need more role models so girls know it's possible."
Growing up in Manchester, Yasmin loved playing sports, but as a teenager she reached a barrier.
"My dad didn't feel comfortable with me playing with lots of hormonal boys, and worried I wouldn't be safe and that people in the community would talk," she explained.
"He told me that if I could find a women's team or a female coach I could keep playing - but they simply didn't exist.
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"So I gave it up."
Aged 18, she moved to Barking with her husband before settling down in Chadwell Heath.
After having her three children, now aged 18, 14 and 10, Yasmin stumbled upon a Facebook ad saying there was one more space on an FA course to get BAME women into coaching.
"It felt like fate," she said. "I missed football so much, as it brought me a lot of joy growing up.
"My husband backed me 100 per cent, and I signed myself up.
"It wasn't easy being a full-time mum, volunteering and fitting in the course, but my husband took extra days off work to help."
Five years on, Yasmin is proud to have enlisted a "really diverse group" of women from all backgrounds into coaching, where her teams play in Hackney's Super 5 League.
The mother-of-three also trains women and girls of all ages, including mums and toddlers, alongside coaching girls in schools across Redbridge.
"The interest and will is there, we just don't have enough support in place yet," she added.
Yasmin is determined to use her profile to pave an easier way for the younger generations.
"My work with the FA and our partners mean other girls won't have the same experience I did."