Rashida Salloo from Yorkshire has been awarded the Tennis Foundation Special Recognition Award at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.
Rashida was selected by a panel of expert judges including Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, former West Bromwich Albion favourite Brendon Batson OBE and retired international athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardener MBE.
Mike Bain, Director of Community Projects at the Tennis Foundation commented: “The Tennis Foundation is working in under-resourced and deprived communities to ensure everyone has access to the game we love.
Crucial to the success of our programme is working with people already rooted and trusted in focus communities. We have uncovered a community champion in Rashida – her dedication, enthusiasm and passion for introducing women and girls from Asian and Muslim backgrounds is helping us widen the sport’s appeal and inclusivity.
By adapting the game to cater for the sport’s common barriers, Rashida has allowed disengaged females to enjoy playing in a comfortable environment with privacy, encouraging them to wear what they want and adhere to their religious and cultural beliefs. Her work is helping to create lasting social value and ensure tennis is sustainable in communities where the sport has never been before.”
Rashida has received the award due to her tireless work in the Yorkshire community brining tennis and other sports to everyone through her initiative ‘Ready Steady Active’. Rashida does a significant amount of work with women from BME backgrounds, providing local women with classes they feel comfortable taking part in. Rashida believes sport should be open to all people regardless of background, wealth, religion and skill.
Rashida has commented: “It feels amazing and humbling to be put forward for the Tennis Foundation Special Recognition Award. It’s not something would have ever expected off the back of my work in sport, it’s great to be recognised for doing work that benefits the community.”
Arun Kang, Chief Executive Officer of Sporting Equals who founded the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards said: “Rashida is a very deserving winner of the Tennis Foundation Special Recognition Award. She has done amazing work in Yorkshire breaking down barriers so that all people but particularly women get involved in any sport regardless of age or ability”.