By Ninder Kaur
A Bradford- born female sporting coach has returned back on home ground following her life-changing trip to Bermuda.
Halima Khan, a 30 year old cricket coach was on holiday in Dubai when she was given the opportunity of a lifetime to help coach young girls. “I got talking to members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). It was the West Indies and Bermuda CEOs in particular that told me how they wanted to develop women and girl’s cricket.”
As an advocate of increasing female participation in sports she agreed to help out.
“I thought they were joking and I didn’t know if they were being serious.”
After meeting with members of the ICC back in April last year they helped fund Halima’s week long trip to Bermuda in December.
Halima, who is now a National Project Leader had the opportunity to coach girls, aged 8-16 from Bermuda’s national teams. She also had the chance to shed her knowledge and passion for the sport by helping out at after school clubs.
Halima describes her trip as a real eye opener as she got to see the way cricket was instructed in a different country. “With the coaching, it was interesting to see the development in Bermuda and how it compared to England. The community is a lot closer out there. With cricket being their national sport there is a lot more discipline and seriousness involved.”
With only a week long contribution, she received some positive feedback from not only the girls she were coaching but their parents as well. They were impressed with how having a female coach gave them the drive and motivation to pursue the sport further.
The ICC officials are also looking to see if Halima can return. “They want me to come out there for a longer period, to not only develop the cricket side of things but the school’s resources. They also want more female role models and coaches to encourage participation. ”
Last year, Halima won the award for the Most Inspirational Employee at Bradford’s Inspirational Women’s Awards, and by winning the award it affirmed to her that she had made the right career choice in life.
“It just shows how women can take part in sports and carve out careers in sports. Sport is not just about participation, it’s a lifestyle. If you have the drive and perseverance then you can achieve it the same way I have.”
“If someone told me I was going to Bermuda, I would have laughed in their face but it happened.”
From this experience, Halima hopes to continue her work and do more to raise awareness on women’s participation in sport and not just here in the UK either. “I want to go to countries where women are just coming through the system. It’s about going to these less known cricketing countries and helping develop them from a grassroots point of view.”
With only a month into the New Year, Halima has big plans for the future ahead. She wants to help girls to transition from taking part in sports to becoming volunteers and coaches.
“ The biggest challenge will be educating our societies and cultures to being more open and accepting of having women in sports and taking on these leadership roles. In 4 or 5 years time I want to see hundreds of Halima Khan’s out there aspiring to become coaches in sports.”