GB squad captain, Ajmal Ahmed, won an Outstanding Achievement award recently.
It’s turning out to be a big year for the GB Blind squad with the side having qualified for the summer’s Beijing Paralympics and team captain, Ajmal Ahmed, winning an Outstanding Achievement award recently.
Ahmed picked up the award at the British Asian Sports Awards which saw over 800 guests from the world of sport, business and showbiz at the Hilton Hotel in London.
The 27-year-old also got to rub shoulders with Commonwealth Lightweight boxing champion, Amir Khan, with Ahmed receiving the invite of a lifetime: “He came up and shook my hand which was pretty good and then asked if I’d like to train with him when I’m next in the area which is great.”
Like Amir Khan, Ahmed is no stranger to winning awards having already picked up both the Asian Sports Personality for the Northwest and the equivalent honour at the Midlands Disability of the Year prize giving in the last 12 months.
“I was really proud when I won the Midlands Award but the British Asian prize, where I was competing against able-bodied athletes, recognises that disability sports like partially sighted football are on a par with other mainstream sports,” said the Liverpool fan who is studying Sports Science at Worcester University.
“Blind football is, I believe, coming into its own and, like all blind footballers, I want to be perceived as an athlete before I am perceived as someone who is blind.”
Great Britain Blind squad coach, Tony Larkin, added: “We are absolutely delighted for Aj. He has been a great ambassador for blind football and is an excellent team player and captain so this award is well deserved.”
Blind football is set for a further boost later this year when an FA backed academy opens its doors at the Royal National College for the Blind.
The facility will offer future students the chance to build 16 hours of training and regular games into their academic or vocational curriculum of studies and create a pathway into league and international competitions.