Melissa York, Reporter
Thursday, January 31, 2013
The first Muslim woman to compete internationally for the USA inspired pupils in three schools last week.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic sabre fencer, visited Sarah Bonnell School in Stratford, Forest Gate Community School in Forest Gate, and Lister Community School in Plaistow.
The 27-year-old talked to students about her training schedule, how she got involved in sport, and answered their questions. Forest Gate Community School pupil Joseph Larkin, 14, said: “It was a privilege that a medal-winning athlete, from the same background as us, should take the time to visit us.”
Sarah Lloyd, assistant headteacher, said: “It was beneficial for the students to meet a female athlete who not only has achieved at the highest level but has managed to combine her religious beliefs with her sport as fencing enables her to remain totally covered.”
East London Business Alliance coordinated the visit as part of new education programme Business Action Groups which finds out what the needs of a school are and responds by connecting them with companies and organisations.