How to become a British Sports Presenter: know your field and stay South AsianArticle Date | 8 March, 2022
By Chompa Rahman, Business Student (Y1), LSST Luton campus | Article Date: 8 March 2022
We can all see that despite strong equal opportunity legislation, South Asian women are still underrepresented in sports media. There aren't enough women at the forefront of sports broadcasting or presenting, and this needs to change.
I was born and raised in the United Kingdom as a British South Asian woman who wears a hijab. Sports were a big part of my childhood, and it became the significance of living a healthy lifestyle in school, so it quickly became my focus. Football and cricket were always in the spotlight at home, and I enjoyed watching them as a hobby. I became interested in how sports media played an important role in providing the focus that allowed sports to thrive and come to life on screen.
I don't want my hijab to be an obstacle. I believe that each person is unique and should pursue a job that they thoroughly enjoy doing or are passionate about, despite any hurdles that may arise.
My ambition is to land a job in sports media and perhaps one day present. I'd like to be a role model for young women who want to pursue a career in sports journalism. My ultimate desire and dream are for women to be able to look up to someone who wears the hijab and is South Asian. But I'm aware that it will not be an easy journey. Pursuing a career in this industry is quite tough, and I believe there is a shortage of South Asian women in this field, which needs to improve.
I believe that South Asian women are less interested in working in sports because of a lack of support from their families and friends and that they find it easier to get into careers that are more traditionally accepted in their cultures, such as teaching or nursing, but this should not discourage women. This normalisation in sports media is something I'd want to see. I want to see south Asian women in hijabs representing sports - that would be a huge step forward for the sporting world.
Women need to be better represented in sports presenting. There’s a saying: ‘if she can’t see it, she can’t be it’. And if we all play a part together and stay united, then we are all winning.
- I believe that changes at the top are necessary. For example, if a board member is South Asian and female, they will understand how to promote more South Asian females into sports media. This, I feel, is critical because it will assist to break down barriers and provide organisations and employees with a real-world understanding of how to execute changes.
- There needs to be more research around why women particularly South Asian women have little to no interest in sports media.
- More role models who have similar backgrounds who can bring out the best in these women and break down barriers are needed.
- Getting families more educated as I feel there is a lack of education for parents who have little understanding of how beneficial sports can be for their children.
- Whether it's in administration, sports, or front-of-house presenting or broadcasting, I believe there must be more advertising or campaigning for women from South Asian backgrounds, so they know how to apply for positions and more assistance on how to pursue a career in sports.
I understand that different organisations have different policies and laws in place to promote diversity and equal opportunity, but I believe that more needs to be done to bring South Asian women to the forefront of the conversation. This would be a major accomplishment and progress and knowing that things are getting better would make me glad. One day, I hope to change that narrative by becoming the first hijab-wearing woman to present sports, which I adore.
Listen to Chompa's LSST Podcast on Hijabs, sport and diversity here:
To interview Chompa about her diversity campaign please email LSST’s PR Manager email@example.com.