The Sport and Recreation Alliance has announced it will be working with Archery GB to assess the impact of Project Rimaya, an archery initiative set up with funding from SportsAid to introduce the sport to young Muslims, especially girls.
Project Rimaya – meaning ‘archery’ in Arabic – started in 2018 as a way of giving young Muslim girls the opportunity to try a sport they would not otherwise be able to access.
It holds significance within the faith as multiple Islamic texts mention archery as a worthy pass-time, with the prophet Muhammed recommending the sport.
The aim of the programme is simple, to increase the number of young Muslim people participating in archery, although Archery GB also hope that through the programme, a future Olympian or Paralympian may be found.
Through the initiative, local adults have also been trained as volunteer coaches and instructors, providing opportunities to get involved in archery and inspiring local children to do so too.
The benefits of the project are illustrated by Abda Shaheen, who upon joining Ninestiles Academy in Birmingham, discovered they had an after-school archery club and decided to help.
To better support the students, she thought it would be beneficial to have a formal qualification, so she applied for the Archery GB Instructor Award – helped by funding from Project Rimaya.
As a result of completing the course, Abda is able to instruct the students and help them to improve their skills, which she would have been unable to do without Project Rimaya funding.
Richard Boardman, Research and Development Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “We look forward to working with Archery GB after hearing those involved with Project Rimaya talk with such enthusiasm about the impact its programmes have had, not just for individual participants, but the coaches, volunteers, their families and the wider community.
“The focus of the project is to undertake a quantified assessment, using an internationally recognised methodology, to determine the extent of the uplift in physical activity and mental wellbeing for the participants, volunteers, coaches and wider community.
“We are excited to be able to help Archery GB articulate this impact in a clear, concise way so that projects such as this, can continue to be delivered.”
Gayle Pink, Head of Clubs and Communities at Archery GB, added: “Archery GB are delighted to be working with the Sport and Recreation Alliance to help assess the impact of Project Rimaya.
“We have lots of inspirational case studies, detailing the benefits of archery on different communities, but no detailed analysis.
“The Alliance has been amazing in helping us to develop a way to truly assess the impact of two Project Rimaya partnerships, one in Sheffield and one in Barking. We can’t wait to see the results!”