This month, many members of the Netball Family are taking part in Ramadan.
Ramadan is a special month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, devote themselves to their faith and draw closer to Allah, or God through prayer.
For Sumayyah, the captain of Revolution Netball Club, activities on a netball court have been paused but it hasn’t stopped the group from staying connected.
“Even though we’re not running any sessions, our group chat is very active,” Sumayyah begins to explain. “Our WhatsApp group has about 200 girls in it – that’s not to say all 200 attend every Thursday!
“I think generally, a lot of people tend to put sport on the back burner. Those two to three hours they would typically dedicate to playing sport or playing netball, are often put towards Ramadan.”
Revolution, formerly known as ISOC Netball (Islamic Society Netball), is a community club that plays in Somers Town, London and is made up of Muslim and BAME women who are passionate about sports and fitness.
Whilst netball activity has been paused, Sumayyah and others at the club are continuing to find ways to exercise around fasting, as well as their studies at university.
“I am trying to fit the gym in as I think it’s good for my mental health, especially during this busy period for me, but I know that’s the not case for a lot of people.
“I’ve seen a lot of conversation on Twitter about people trying to prioritise the gym because they don’t want to let their health go for a whole month. Everyone’s trying to get tips on how to go to the gym whilst fasting, when’s the best time, what sort of exercises should they do, what should they stay away from, just so they don’t burn themselves out.”
“I’d say going just before breaking your fast would be the best time because once you’ve finished your session, you can go home and eat,” Sumayyah continues.
“I’m not sure whether all gyms do this, but my local gym has dates at their welcome counter so if people want to break their fast at the gym, then they are more than welcome to. I thought that was a nice, inviting initiative because as a Muslim, you feel more seen and recognised.”
At the end of Ramadan, the club is planning to come together by hosting a group Iftar – the meal where you break your fast.
“I think it would be really nice for community spirit to organise a huge meal for the girls so Revolution Netball is still alive during Ramadan.
“Post-Ramadan, we’ll be looking into summer sessions. Although uni will be over, we know that a lot of girls are still interested in playing sports.”
Moving forward, Revolution will be exploring how they can further develop and continue to grow, looking at more playing opportunities and having a coach at their sessions – giving Sumayyah more time to play!
If you would like to learn more about Ramadan and how to promote faith inclusion within netball, take a look at our Region and Belief in Netball Guide.