3 July 2019

Travelling just a few hours from Birmingham to Lyon, Sport 4 Life UK’s Hannah Kaur discusses how to use Festival 19 as an opportunity to empower and educate young women on and off the pitch through collective action and exchange. Check out the latest instalment of our Festival 19 pitch-side interviews. 


To what extent do you consider your community equal in terms of gender on a scale from 1-10?


It’s going to have to be about three, because back at home in West Bromwich, just outside Birmingham, things are still quite backwards. Women are still in roles where they’re expected to have a baby, clean, and cook at home. The more ‘modern woman’s’ lifestyle is found more so in the city.


How can we improve the score so that it’s more than three?


I think it’s about having female role models to empower girls and young women, to show them that 'we have support for you, that we’re here for you, and that we can help you through issues that you don't have to stay at home for', that sort of thing. For instance, at Sport 4 Life UK, we offer courses for new mums to re-introduce them into the workforce and acquire tangible educational training and skills.


What are you most looking forward to at Festival 19 and why?


I think it’s meeting all the new people. What I've really enjoyed is finding new activities to take back home and just exchanging ideas on how we deal with young people who have challenging lives. For instance, Ana, whom I met here, is from Brazil. I think she does just about the exact same work that I do in advancing gender equality, just in Brazil. It’s quite amazing how this one festival has connected the aligned missions of work on two separate continents.


If you had one crazy idea to change the world, one thing you could do or implement, what would it be?


Educate every man that every woman is not the same.


If you could choose a team of five people to help push this goal, to educate all these men that not every woman is the same, who would you pick to be on your team?


If I could choose, I would pick a few of the women from Sport 4 Life, for sure. Definitely, my colleagues, Sian, Jade, and Emma from my organisation because the female empowerment that comes from them is just amazing. There’s this mutual encouragement amongst each other every day, for instance, they’ve encouraged me to get into more sports. We’re always there for one another, like a family.

For my last two I’m going to say two people that I’ve met here. I’d like to pick Ana, the woman I met from Brazil and Sadie, from Albion in the Community in Brighton because she does a lot of work with girls and manages to engage them actively. Incredibly so! Whereas I have a bit more difficulty when it comes to engaging girls, but she seems to be a specialist.


What, for you, is the main goal of meeting people from football for good organisations from all over the world here at Festival 19? 


It’s so we can change the lives of young people and to create a level playing field so that everyone has the same opportunities for a better future.




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