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Sports activist Lipa Nessa is formally a semi-professional footballer and now a grassroots coach, co-founder, and sports activist, and she sits on several sports boards. One of which is the Youth Sport Trust, where she is a trustee and the youth board chair. Aged just 16, Nessa was subjected to horrific abuse from the touchline as she made her debut for the team on what should have been one of the most memorable days of her life. Nessa said the incident was the trigger for her to forsake her dream of trying to forge a career as a footballer and ultimately led to her deciding to stop playing the game altogether. Despite hanging up her boots, Lipa remains heavily involved in football. She is part of the Football Association's Leadership Academy, representing the Middlesex FA. Lipa is a co-founder of the podcast called ‘I Think She’s Offside’ where she and co-host Fadumo Olow talk about all things woman’s sports. The podcast aims to stay connected to the local community, discussing The FA’s Women Super League with some BPL. Lipa and Fadumo came up with the podcast to give underrepresented individuals a voice.
Reason for nomination:
Lipa passion for football is constantly growing which led her to coin her catchphrase “I’m going to change the world with a hijab on my head and a ball at my feet.” She wants to be the change and continue to challenge herself whilst engaging with minority communities by doing so her catchphrase will become a reality.