VIDEO: Immy Kaur on being a women of colour and active sports fanatic
What’s the struggle like being one of only a few women of colour on a hockey team, or being expected to confirm to gender and racial social norms while having an active passion for outdoor sports?
Imandeep Kaur, known to most simply as ‘Immy’ – a young entrepreneur, community creative, marathon runner and all-round inspiration for many – might just be able to answer that question.
When not managing the day to day running of the Impact Hub Birmingham, a space which she co-founded and where she is currently the Director, the 32-year-old civil activist from Birmingham pushes her physical potential, encouraging colleagues and friends to join her.
Former University of Birmingham alumni, Imandeep was last year listed as one of the most influential people within the world of business lobbying within the West Midlands, and also won the 2016 Asian Business Women of the Year award.
Yet, as a proud Sikh and woman of colour on her hockey team, how does she overcome potential barriers? Here, Immy shares her personal experiences of balancing different identities throughout her life, in a video created as part of the Girl Dreamer video series, showcasing the talents of local black and Asian women.
“I often find myself growing up being the only person like me in a certain space, whether that was when I was playing sports, missing family weddings to be on the hockey pitch, when I was studying instead of being out with my friends, and it’s been a journey that I’ve really had to navigate,” explains Immy.
“Now, I think about bringing all parts of myself to all the different things I’m involved in, to really help myself to grow and to not feel censored by the world around me.”
GirlDreamer is an empowerment platform for young women and girls of colour. Through school programmes, community engagement and digital content, we aim to build confidence and unleash potential.
Pushing boundaries, testing the waters and going full throttle at everything they do – from setting up the UK’s first BAME female longboarding crew to running an intense six-month personal and professional development programme for girls in schools; and creating digital animation to highlight the struggles of a millennial girl of colour – Girl Dreamer aim to do things “a little differently and do things wholeheartedly”.
The initiative, working to change and shape the teen and young adult journey of the next generation through education, elevation and empowerment, is supported by the Heart of England Community Foundation, Sport England, Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.
Video and visuals by Paul Stringer.