Netball star Ziana nets two awards
23 November 2022
Ziana Butt, BSc Digital & Technology Solutions and England Under-21 netball star has won the young netball volunteer prize at the National ONE Awards and was highly commended at the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards.
The 20-year-old from Ilford was the first person of Pakistani heritage to represent England in netball.
At the age of 16, she was included in the England NETS under 21 squad at the 2019 World Indoor Netball Championships in South Africa. She has since won 15 caps for the under-21 national team and is currently in the inaugural England mixed squad, Saracens Mavericks U21 Netball Squad and Academy Premier Team, a level one netball coach and a young volunteer at England Netball.
Ziana won the young netball volunteer award for her work in promoting diversity in netball and encouraging people from South Asian backgrounds to participate in sports that they have previously felt excluded from.
England Netball said in a statement, "Ziana Butt works tirelessly to encourage greater participation in sport within Asian communities."
She was also highly commended at the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards, for her digital and technology apprenticeship with Accenture.
Ziana Butt, BSc Digital & Technology Solutions and England Under-21 netball star, poses with her two trophies.
"When I began my journey in netball, I would go to tournaments and be surprised to find that I was the only South Asian person there. I felt called to volunteer and show more young people that they can play netball," said Ziana.
"From volunteering in schools, I discovered that most youngsters from South Asian families had not considered sport as a career due to their families and communities being more academically focused.
"I therefore began to share my own personal journey to show that sport can bring both career and mental health benefits," she continued.
Ziana has also co-authored a children’s book titled ‘Aisha's Netball’ encouraging young Asian girls to get involved in sport and is a current member of the National Youth Sport Forum where she advises on school sport and recreational policies.
Ziana said: "Volunteering has allowed me to speak directly to the South Asian community and help drive a change in sport which will encourage and inspire more children to involve themselves in netball.
"There’re lots of talented South Asian children in other sports such as cricket. However, it is vitally important that they’re given the same opportunities and see people like them in every other sport.
"Winning these two awards is incredibly humbling. I feel very grateful to have this recognition as without a voice and passion for inclusion we won’t achieve change.
"I feel very proud to have made such a difference for the South Asian community and hope that more children feel inspired to aim for a career in sport."
For more information see Ziana’s dedicated website.
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