Khayran Noor


Membership profile

Position: Attorney-at-law, Lawyer

Type of Occupation: Sports Administrator

Area of expertise: Governance / Regulatory work, Human Rights

Member of the month: February, 2024

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Khayran Noor.

Khayran is a Learning & Development Coordinator, Middle East Sports Law (MESL).

Name, Role (In-house, firm, arbitrator, etc.), Country of residence, Nationality.

Khayran Noor, Learning & Development Coordinator, Middle East Sports Law (MESL), Kenya.

How did you get involved in sports law?

I have always envisioned a harmonious covergence of the two realms that have shaped the core of my identity – sports and law. Despite my fervent dreams, diverted from the path of becoming a professional athlete, this paved way for a profound realization – the potential to make an enduring and lasting impact in sports law.

It is a vision rooted in a lifelong dream that has now matured into a driving force behind my aspirations, with the prospect of blending the exhiliration of sports with the intellectual rigor of a legal career fuels my desire to create transformative spaces and opportunities for individuals with backgrounds akin to mine, through strategic legal interventions, dismantling barriers, ensuring equitable opportunities and fostering a representative ethos within the sporting world. This is a realm for me is where discipline, perserverance, and the pursuit for excellence converge.

What was your most memorable achievement in the sector?

As I stand in this jucture, the most memorable achievement isn’t a trophy or a title; it’s collective narrative of growth, connections and vision realization.
Witnessing my personal and professional growth within the industry stands out as a pinnacle achievement. This journey is an ongoing chapter, and with each passing moment, the potential for futher impact and fulfillment continues to unfold through building relationships with professionals who share a simlar dedication to excellence, collaboration and yet perhaps the most fulfilling aspect has been the opportunity to inspire, educate, and motivate the next generation of sports lawyers.

Any advice for someone trying to break into the sector?

In essence, career is not just a profession, it is a purpose. A purpose to create, inspire and pave way for those who, like me, find the intersection of their passions to be a beautiful and fulfilling journey.

For future sports lawyers in Africa, navigating the legal landscape in the world of sports can be both challenging and rewarding.
Here are some snippets to consider:
a) Build a strong legal foundation – invest in understanding not only the general legal principles but also those specific to sports law.
b) Network – attend relevant workshops, conferences, courses and network actively within the legal community and the sports industry. Join relevant associations such as WISLaw and connect with professionals to stay updated on industry trends and opportunities.
c) Gain practical experience – this is invaluable and can provide insights not fully covered through academic studies.
d) Stay informed – sports law is dynamic and ever evolving and involves international aspects, global trends, decisions and developments.
e) Understand the Regulatory Framework – familirianze and understand the local, continental and global governance and regulatory bodies shaping the legal landscape.
f) Cultural sensitivity – understand and appreciate the cultural nuances and diversity of the sports community, this is critical when working with clients and stakeholders from different backgrounds.
g) Ethical conduct – the industry can be highly competitive and intense, however, maintaining integrity and ethical conduct is crucial for building credibility.        h) Find your niche – finding your niche in sports law involves a combinaton of self- discovery, exploration and honing your skills, and excelling in that space.

The journey into sports law is unique, and each experience contributes to your growth.

Greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

As a muslim girl hailing from a conservative community in the Coast of Kenya, pursuing a career in sports became a dream fraught with obstacles.
One of the major hurdles was the limited support from my family and lack of mentors. In a society where higher education held paramount importance, the idea of sports as a potential gateaway to both personal and educational opportunities faced skepticism. The broader systemic shortcomings further compounded the journey, from:
a) Barriers to entry.
b) Poor governance and weak legal frameworks.
c) Struggle of aspiring youth and marginalized athletes to find proper avenues for growth.
d) Discrimination and underrepresentation, and
e) The absence of/limited women leaders in sports mirrored a hinderance of progress for women/girls in the field.

Despite these challenges, I perservered, recognizing that sports could not only be a personal passion but also a powerful vehicle for change fueled by missed opportunities.

Why did you decide to focus on [your area(s) of sports law?

In the landscape of Kenyan and African sports, the undeniable growth and significance of a highly potential sector cannot be overlooked. The pressing issues of gaps and inconsistences in rules, regulations, laws and policies demand urgent recognition and comprehenssive reforms. In championing these reforms, I aspire not only to ignite the resolve of current challenges but also lay the groundwork for sustainable and prosperous future for African sports.

By advocating towards a framework that promotes good governance, integrity, inclusivity and excellence, and fostering a sports community where every stakeholder can thrive.

What benefits / How has WISLaw helped you in your career?

WISLaw has been transformative, offering a unique platform to connect with fellow women in sports law around the world. Providing a hub where diverse voices converge, beyond geographical boundaries, share our individual career paths and collectively envision a more inclusive space within the sports legal landscape.

As we continue to connect, collaborate and inspire, WISLaw remains a beacon of support, encouraging us to strive for excellence and fostering a sense of unity among women in sports law across the globe.

What do you do in your spare time / any favourite sports?

As a former amateur sprinter, I find my truest joy in pushing my physical limits. I am an ardent lover of fitness, solo or through energizing sessions with friends.
I also enjoy time-traveling portals through historical movies, shows and books, comedies and the occasional crime & sport documentaries. My nuclear family is the anchor of my world. Travel and leisure, exploring diverse landscapes, cultures and people add depth to my persective. Lastly, making new connections, exchaging ideas and building bridges within this dynamic space.

If you weren’t a sports lawyer, what do you think you would be and why?

The journey is not just a professional trajectory, but a narrative of passion meeting purpose. In the marriage of law and sports, I see not only my past and present but a future where the collective impact of these passions resonates as a powerful voice for transformation and development.

The world of sports, with its dynamism passion, and unscripted narratives, is not just a vocation but an intrisic part of who I am.

I have never envisioned having a career away from sports or law, and now I get to do both!