Stanmore Jaffery’s were named as the winners of the The FA's For All award at this year’s Asian Football Awards on Tuesday evening.
A Muslim community group based in west London, Stanmore Jaffery’s initially formed their football arm two years ago and now coach over 300 youngsters every week, both boys and girls.
Having embraced organised football, they are now set up as an FA community development centre and have run an FA coaching course to qualify male and female coaches from within their community.
- A Sh’ia Muslim group
- Run by volunteers whose aim is to serve the community
- Focus on personal, physical and spiritual development via literary, relief, social, spirit and sports
- Represent KSIMC of London in regional, national and international tournaments
Following their success at the Awards, chair of the Stanmore Jaffery’s academy Mohammed Valjy explains how important their work can be in their community.
“It’s amazing to be recognised at the Asian Football Awards. We only really started with this two years ago and this year we were nominated for a best of award, which was great, but to also be nominated for an award which the FA are sponsoring and win it, it’s a wonderful experience.
“The football project at Stanmore Jaffery’s began because, as a community, we were playing football weekly at Ruislip Girls, five and seven-a-side games but it wasn’t really organised.
Then a couple of individuals within the community led by Shafique Govani said we really needed to move forward from the way we were doing things.
Firstly, we secured a spot at the Hive at Barnet FC to give ourselves a foundation where we could really play football rather than just a five-a-side or seven-a-side format that we had previously.
We looked at people within the community who we knew could play football and could be coaches and we worked hard to get them qualified. Within a year, we were FA-affiliated and governance is the bedrock of how we started and all our coaches have safeguarding checks and first aid training.
When we started off, all of the coaches were parents with children in different age groups and when I came on board, I knew we had to make it more sustainable and now, we’re getting the new generation coming through. For example, this year we’ve just had a 16-year-old who has started coaching in September and the young boys are now looking up to him.
My mindset is that when they get up to his age, they’re going to be looking to do a similar thing so we’re moving forward with a new generation again.
The end goal for Stanmore Jaffery’s is to give people a foundation in football. If we ever produce a player who does go on to play at a high level, then that’s great but that’s not the end goal. It could be someone else coming out of our system who wants to be a Doctor or a presenter within football. We’re hoping to still give them that foundation.
This award is something which we hope can inspire everyone else back in the community. It’s very important, because we have a wide range of individuals who don’t like football, but like other sports so I’m hoping that other sections of the sporting community within that group will look at this and think that if we can do it in football, they can do it in other sports, helping the community keep moving all the time and not stand still.”
Speaking about the 2017 event, AFA founder Baljit Rihal said: “These awards have been about focusing on the positive stories of role models within the Asian community.
“The Young Player shortlist showed us that we have a bright future if these young men are indeed afforded regular first team football. Easah Suliman has given us hope by becoming the first Asian to captain an England team - furthermore his goal to help England U19s win the Euros was a historic event for the Asians in Football movement.
“It’s been a fantastic evening, where we have collectively showcased the stories of individuals and organisations from across the country all under one roof.
“The atmosphere has been electric and there is an air of positivity which I truly believe can be harnessed for Asians in Football to achieve bigger and better things."