Born in Libya, Ayah moved to Cardiff aged 11. She had started playing football with her cousins in Libya, and fell in love with the game. However, she was disheartened by the lack of girls and women playing the sport.

Ayah first got involved with Cardiff City FC Community Foundation through the girls-only Premier League Kicks football sessions in the diverse and multicultural community of Grangetown in Cardiff.

The social and historical construction of football as a ‘masculine space’ has limited female connection with the game. Ayah is working hard to change this.

Being female and coming from an ethnic minority, I feel playing football is looked down upon. In sport, you should be able to express yourself. I feel like it’s the best way to bring the community together. I’ve been able to grow girls’ football, especially in Grangetown, and I’ve been recognised for this with a couple of awards. I feel it’s a huge step for girls of ethnic minorities.

She began volunteering at her local sessions, which quickly tripled the attendance of girls from ethnic minority backgrounds. Ayah is relishing the opportunity to mentor young people in her community, helping them develop their sporting skills and grow as individuals.

Click here to read the Foundation's 2019 Annual Review