Tuesday 24th January 2012 was a historical day for Asian Football, the first ever major football event was held to recognise the accomplishments of the Asian community in football to highlight the contribution they make to the beautiful game. Asian Football Awards (AFA) supported by the FA and Kick It Out, with Sporting Equals as its legacy partner saw leading figures come out to support the elegant event at the home of football, Wembley Stadium.
Guests for this event included David Bernstein (FA Chairman), Paul Elliot, Graham Le Saux, Piara Powar, Mihir Bose, Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) and award winners Michael Chopra and Manish Bhasin to name just a few. Osmani Trust’s Football In the Community (FITC) project was also among the attendees as awards winners beating off strong competition from Zesh Rehman Foundation, Punjabi Wolves, Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation and London Tigers to be crowned Foundation of the Year 2012 for the work the project delivers.
Imran Hassan, Co-Founder of the Asian Football Awards stated, “It was really pleasing seeing so many key figures supporting and enjoying the Awards, but the hard work begins now in our legacy programme. A very big congratulation to all the nominees and winners, it really was truly inspirational to see so many role models, in particular Lifetime Achievement recipient Jarnail Singh.”
Baljit Rihal, Co-Founder of the Asian Football Awards said, “The first ever Asian Football Awards was a celebration of the success of Asians in all aspects of UK football. We are proud to have created the Awards which we are confident will be an annual high profile event.”
The FITC has been running since 2005 and over the years has worked with thousands of young people as well as adults in delivering football initiatives across Tower Hamlets and Newham, initiatives include school and community based coaching, girl’s football, youth and adult football, large scale community events as well as delivering accredited training. The FITC project is funded by the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports’ charity.
Abdal Ahmed who has managed the project since its inception in 2005 said, “This is a great achievement for the project and more importantly for the young people and adults that have used our services. We saw off nominees from some very tough national projects which truly goes to show that we have a real good project here at Osmani Trust which is benefitting the local people. I would like to extend my thanks to all the staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the year to ensure the high level of service we provide continues; I hope the project can become stronger in this Olympic year”.
The Asian Football Awards will be aired on Sony Entertainment Network on Friday 10th February 2012. If you would like more information on the FITC project or Osmani Trust please contact Abdal Ahmed on 020 7247 8080.
The winners of the inaugural Asian Football Awards:
Player of the Year Award (Sponsored by Lebara Mobile) – Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town)
Young Player of the Year (Sponsored by Inventive Sports) – Danny Batth (Wolves/Sheff Wed)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jarnail Singh (referee)
Football Media Award (Sponsored by Sony Entertainment Network) – Manish Bhasin (BBC)
Investors in Football – Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal (QPR)
Coach of the Year (Sponsored by Action Images) – Nas Bashir (Hayes and Yeading)
Asian Woman in Football – Rimla Akhtar
Foundation of the Year – Osmani Trust
Behind the Scenes – Administration – Raj Athwal (Watford FC)
Behind the Scenes – Medical (Sponsored by SportsRecruit.co.uk) – Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool FC)
Grass Roots Hero (Sponsored by AsiansInFootball.com) – Bal Singh (The KFA)
Asian Community Club of the Year – London Tigers
Inspiration Award – Permi Jhooti
Football Development Project of the Year (Sponsored by Sporting Equals) – Diversity Academy