Middlesex FA club, Stanmore Jaffery’s were named as winners of The FA’s ‘For All’ award at this year’s Asian Football Awards earlier this month.
The awards, now in their fourth year, were created to reward and recognise Asians in the football industry and aim to provide a platform for Asians to promote their work. This year’s ceremony took place at The Grange St Paul's Hotel in London and was hosted by Noreen Khan from the BBC Asian Network and Dharmesh Sheth from Sky Sports News.
The Stanmore Jaffery’s are a Sh’ia Muslim community group based out of Harefield Academy. The group only formed their football arm two years ago but now boast an impressive set-up featuring 300 boys and girls across 11 age groups.
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.
Stanmore Jaffery's were nominated for the FA For All award following the success of this year’s Salaam Cup. The cup, organised and run by the group, aims at promoting the message of peace, unity, respect and harmony and this year hosted over 500 players from 57 teams across 11 different communities. The tournament included a family fun day, stalls and activities for children and was supported by over 100 volunteers.
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.
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."
Middlesex FA Chief Executive, Leigh O’Connor, commented on the achievement:
"We’re extremely proud of Stanmore Jaffery’s and all of their fantastic achievements over the past two years. The volunteers at the club work tirelessly to ensure that their young players not only receive the support they need to develop as players but as people too and the work they do to promote respect and inclusivity within the game is highly valued here at Middlesex FA. The For All award is great recognition for their hard work during the past year and we look forward to seeing this great work continue in 2018."
Find out more about the Stanmore Jaffery's