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Coventry educator lands global prize for representing women in the video game industry

A Coventry educator has picked up a global prize for representing women in the video game industry.

Shoubna Naika-Taylor, Curriculum Lead for Digital and Esports Manager at Coventry College, has been named Top Educator in the Rising Stars category at the The*gameHERs Awards 2021 virtual ceremony.

Of the 37 global winners across six categories including Charity, Content Creation, Esports, Game Development, Marketing and Rising Stars, Shoubna is one of only three from the UK.

The*gameHERs Awards states that its Top Educator accolade is ‘for the woman and/or femme identifying educator that has worked relentlessly to bring new and exciting voices into the gaming space through education, leadership and mentorship to our next generation of the gaming industry’.

Shoubna, who is Esports team manager for Coventry Crosshairs, was named North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) Scholastic Fellow in September, working with colleges across the region to implement Esports into their curriculum. The organisation helps students around the world use Esports as a way of connecting learning and play.

Shoubna has overseen the success of Coventry Crosshairs since its launch in 2019. The team is hugely popular with students and considered one of the best in the country, with Esports now offered as a level 3 diploma at the college.

She said: “I’m honoured to receive this award and I’d like to thank the Coventry Crosshairs community, current members and alumni, the staff and students at Coventry College and my friends and family who have supported me along the way. I have been motivated by each and every one of them.

“I also want to thank the British Esports Association and Vulpine Esports for encouraging me to keep doing what I do and make the most of all opportunities, as well as the colleges I have collaborated with including Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke, Gower College in Swansea, St Vincent College in Gosport, and Greg at Coventry College for helping me to put Coventry Crosshairs in the spotlight and starting this journey with me.

“This represents much more than just a trophy, and I truly appreciate every single vote.”

Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and we are extremely proud of Shoubna for the work that she does raising the platform of Esports at the college and across the region.

“She has built a buzzing Esports community within the digital department and has engaged with a range of partner colleges to deliver some great collaborative projects.

“I’d like to congratulate Shoubna on behalf of everyone at Coventry College. It is a privilege to have her on our team.”

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