Women’s sport has never had more support, press coverage and acclaim than it’s getting right now. Earlier this month, the first football kit designed specifically for women was unveiled ahead of this summer’s World Cup. At the same time, Barclays was announced as the first title sponsor of the Women’s Super League, and Budweiser has extended its partnership with the FA into its first-ever sponsorship of women’s football. What a time for women’s football!
Viewers tuning into The One Show on BBC One last week would have seen yet more promotion for the sport… with a slight difference. It’s 2019 and no longer is it just little boys dreaming of becoming the next Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling – now girls are looking up to the likes of Fran Kirby and Steph Houghton. But how often do we hear of girls dreaming of refereeing the next Women’s World Cup Final?
Jawahir Roble, JJ for short, spoke to The One Show viewers about her dream of refereeing at the Women’s Super League and the Women’s 2023 World Cup. Coming to England from Somalia in 2004, JJ never stopped chasing her dream, and after getting her first qualification in 2012 she became the first hijab-wearing Muslim to referee in England. Her desire to succeed has never faulted and she has recently gained her Level 6 qualification, putting her one step closer to her ultimate goal.
‘Being a ref is the best seat in the whole stadium. You see the tactics the managers have been working on all week. You see what the players are going through. You get to see the game close up, zoomed in!’ JJ told the millions of viewers tuning into the prime time television show.
Whilst JJ continues to work hard to become a world-class referee, she also works hard to promote the sport for girls in her local area of Wembley. She’s setting up a football camp for girls to allow them to try their hand at the sport, an opportunity which she believes doesn’t currently exist in her community. She simply wants to inspire girls to love the game as much as she does; and her enthusiasm is infectious.
‘We want England ladies to be the best in the whole world and that can be done if it starts from the bottom up. We can make it happen!’
Jawahir Roble – a true advocate for women’s football!
Take a look at JJ’s full interview on The One Show (27th March) on BBC iPlayer.