Jawahir Roble MBE shares her tips for keeping moving during the holy month
Staying active during Ramadan is important to Jawahir Roble MBE, who made headlines back in 2017 when The Daily Telegraph dubbed her “the most remarkable referee in England”.
Jawahir, or JJ as she’s known, was born in 1995 in Somalia and grew up in north-west London with her parents and eight siblings. “We always played football in the garden, in the house, outside, everywhere,” she recalls.
At the age of 19, JJ took a series of steps to encourage more Muslim girls to play football, including taking an FA formal refereeing qualification, which Middlesex FA funded in return for refereeing games every week. Fast forward several years and in 2017 she was one of eleven award winners at the Respect Awards, and collected the Match Official prize – in recognition of her volunteering work for the education charity Football Beyond Borders (FBB) and with the Middlesex FA, coaching FBB's first women's team, as well as for achieving a Level Six refereeing qualification.
We caught up with JJ to find out how she stays active during Ramadan.
What does your typical day look like during Ramadan?
“My day starts around 03:00 – when I’ll eat my pre-dawn meal, which consists of overnight oats mixed with fruits. I’ll have some green tea and usually head in to work for 08:30. An hour before I’m due to break my fast, I go to the gym and get my workout in. Once I’ve opened my fast, I make sure to eat well, and especially to restore my electrolytes!”
Jawahir Roble MBE
What’s your advice for people who want to be active during Ramadan?
“Either choose to do an early morning workout or one in the evening, just before you’re about to open your fast. During the day can be challenging, but I’d say the key thing is replenishing your electrolytes.
“Alongside this, have a positive mindset. Ramadan isn’t easy, but what it teaches us is so much more than what it takes – there are so many good things from the month so let those things motivate you.”
What do you advise when it comes to weight training, core strength work, stretching, and so on?
“I would recommend finding a class you enjoy or scheduling your harder workouts with people who can push you on – it’s always beneficial to try and do something interactive if you can!”