A Spectacular Night to Remember

Over 500 people attended the Osmani Trust Awards Gala on Wednesday 24 November 2010 held at the Waterlilly in Whitechapel. This annual event celebrates the achievements and contributions of local people. It recognises the commitment, dedication and hard work of those people, despite the challenges and barriers, work towards making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

A total of 22 awards were given out on the night ranging from Mentor of the Year, Young Footballer of the Year, Sports Personality of the Year and Health Trainer Client of the Year, to Outstanding Contribution to Gang Mediation and Conflict Resolution and Outstanding Contribution to the Community. The award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community went to Derek Cox, who has been serving the community for over 50 years and continues to do so. Derek worked for Avenues Unlimited in the Brick Lane area against a background of appalling and largely unreported racist violence. He organised English language classes for the elderly and minority groups, play activities for the young, and continuously lobbied for better services for the community. Syed Tohel Ahmed, Chair of Osmani Trust, in presenting the award said “I have known Derek since I can remember; he has always been at the service of the community. He is an inspiration to us all”.

The award for Young Footballer of the Year went to Mohammed Redwan. Mohammed plays for the under-13 Elite Youth team. He inspired the Elite Youth to BFA summer league cup double and is now on trial with Queens Park Ranger Centre of Excellence. Abdal Ahmed who manages the Osmani Trust Football in the Community project said “Mohammed is an example of the progress young people can make. He got involved with Osmani Trust through the school-based coaching programme; he’s talent was spotted and was invited into the Elite Youth team. Now he is in trial with QPR. This is amazing”.

Mohammed in receiving the award said “I have to thank Osmani Trust for giving me this chance. So much has happened to me in the past year. I’m just enjoying every moment”.

The Gala was attended by notable guests including Chris Lovitt, Director of Public Health, Tower Hamlets NHS; Arun Kang, CEO of Sporting Equals; Isobel Cattermole, Director for Childrens, Schools and Families, London Borough of Tower Hamlets; Cllr Ohid Ahmed, Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, and Cllr Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Cllr Rahman after praising the achievements of the award winners, emphasised the support of the council for young people and the determination to put in the resources to enable young people and other members of the community to achieve their full potential.

The award presentations was complemented with light hearted entertainment, including a performance by Hadri Taekwondo that almost raised the roof with applause. Also on show was comedian ‘Prince Abdi’, who was a total hit and left the audience wanting more. 

The appetite of the audience was eventually satiated with a 3 course dinner that ended the day.  

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