Success Stories!

Ambassadors

Ambassadors play a crucial role in raising the profile of the Asian Sports Foundation, and will support the vision to change the lives of Asians through the power of SPORT and assist in the delivery of our objectives.

Dylan Kalar

Squash & Racketball Champion

Dylan Kalar at only 10 years old has excelled in 2 different sports simultaneously and become a champion in both of them.

He is the UK’s Number 1 Squash player in the Under 11 category and is also the Under 11 National Racketball champion.

To date, Dylan has won several successive County titles, a National title in Racketball and has numerous tournament victories to his name. He has also secured the UK number 1 spot in Squash, a position that is always fiercely contested and is very hard to attain. He has consistently demonstrated his brilliance with a racket, showing his constant tactical awareness and his determined heart of a lion.

He continues to enjoy playing both sports and hopes to make it to the very highest levels in the future, including representing England.

DUNLOP are now also officially sponsoring all of Dylan’s rackets & equipment and the champ continues to go from strength to strength.

Dylan is also as committed to his education as his sport, working hard to secure a place at Grammar school and he is incredibly grateful for all the time and effort his Dad has dedicated to coaching him (and his sisters) in Squash, Racketball and even home tutoring them all to secure places in Grammar school despite leading a very busy life himself with his work amongst many other things he keeps busy with.

Dylan is very proud to be part of Team Kalar and really enjoys training with his elder sisters – Jasmin & Danni Kalar, both of whom have won over 100 Squash trophies between them, with Jasmin now playing Professionally. He also loves his monthly Racketball duels he has with his Mum (a keen aficionado in Racketball), not to mention his regular on court duels with his Dad in his coaching sessions.

All of this focus and hard work has paid off and now Dynamo Dylan Kalar is beginning to make his mark in all areas of his life and showing that he has the heart of a champion.

Dylan is proud to be an Ambassador and as he gets older and develops himself further, he is hoping to be a positive role model for everyone.

Sahra Hassan

Golfer

As with many Asian girls, her parents wanted her to do a ‘proper’ job, but Sahra Hassan had just one thing on her mind – golf. When she was two, Sahra Hassan and her sisters would go along with their dad Ash to watch him play squash, and it wasn’t long before Sahra was picking up the racket herself and hitting balls, amazing his friends with her ability at such a young age. And it was the same with just about any sport Sahra turned her hand to, and by the tender age of four she was playing softball tennis.

Sport is not always the first choice of young Muslim women as there are many cultural barriers in their way. Due to religious misinterpretations or simply a lack of awareness, many Muslim women have been prevented or not felt able to participate in sports. Sahra is keen to knock those stereotypes on the head and would like to see herself as a positive role model and someone who encourages other young women from her community to participate in sport.

Sahra’s family has always encouraged her sporting flair, but she still faced difficulties and opposition when she decided to make it her career. In her early childhood tennis was the dominant sport, but when she joined her dad on the golf course she found a natural ability for that game too and by her late teens she had to choose between the two sports.

Golf was the winner at the end of the day and it seems to have been the right choice as today she successfully makes her way up the world rankings.

Breaking through into the world of golf hasn’t always been plain sailing for Sahra and she’s had to overcome hurdles along the way. Her parents and relatives needed some convincing golf was the right career path for a young Muslim girl.

“I want to prove it to young Muslim, Asian girls and Welsh girls that you can still keep your culture and your principles, religious beliefs and participate in sport and make sport as your career.
“I want to be the best lady golfer in the world. And I’d love to see more Asian and ethnic children to take interest in sport, particularly golf. That would be my dream.”

Robbie Hunter-Paul

Former New Zealand Rugby League player. CEO of Super League side Bradford Bulls

Robert Rawiri ‘Robbie’ Hunter-Paul is a former New Zealand rugby league player. He currently works as the CEO at Super League side Bradford Bulls, after retiring as a player at the end of the 2011 season following two years with Leigh Centurions. He played for the New Zealand national team 27 times

Noreen Khan

Radio and TV presenter

Currently presenting her own daily show on BBC Asian Network (weekdays from 1:30-5pm), Noreen has captured the hearts and minds of the community, with listening figures for her show regularly proving that she has the most listened to Asian radio show in the UK.

Her warm and natural presenting style has made her an instant hit with the audience and she is one of the most sought after comperes, hosting high profile events up and down the country. Noreen is also a businesswoman, in 2014 she launched her own clothing label- Noreen Khan Couture and in May of this year she expanded her brand by launching her accessories line too! She’s also a huge sports enthusiast.
BBC Asian Network Site

Rach Choong

Triple World Parabadminton Champ, 2 x European Parabadminton Champ! World number 1

Rachel Choong has been a badminton player for almost all of her life. With her dad already a keen badminton player and her older sister just joining a club with coaching, Rachel first picked up a racquet at the tender age of six. She instantly fell in love with the sport and didn’t let her height deter her.

After a few years of regular coaching, Rachel started playing in the junior league but found it difficult to keep up with the other children during their growth spurts. Not letting it faze her, she trained hard and was then selected to play for Lancashire’s junior county team and attend weekly and monthly county training. She represented Lancashire several times between the ages of twelve and fifteen until one of her county coaches suggested that she entered the 4 Nations Para-Badminton Championships.

In August 2007, Rachel (aged 13) made her para-badminton and international debut in the SS6 (short stature) classification. Since then, Rachel has regularly competed around the world. Her most notable achievements include, 2008 and 2012 double European Para-Badminton Champion; 2013 double World Para-Badminton Champion; 2015 triple World Para-Badminton Champion – the first player in English history to achieve this; and the winner of the UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards 2016.

Rachel now has her hopes set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan when para-badminton will make its Paralympic debut.

Dr Zaf Iqbal

Current Team Doctor at Crystal Palace, and former Team Doctor at Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur and England FA youth teams

Team Doctor at Crystal Palace, and former Team Doctor at Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur and England FA youth team

Dr Zafar Iqbal qualified as a doctor at the St Bartholomew’s and Royal London School of Medicine in 1999 and went on to complete an MSC in Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) at Queen Mary University London, six years later.

As well as working and setting up various Sports Medicine Clinics, Dr Iqbal has worked as the team Doctor at Leyton Orient FC, Tottenham Hotspur and England FA youth teams. During the summer of 2010 he swapped White Hart Lane for Anfield, when he was appointed Liverpool’s first-team doctor, working alongside Professor Peter Brukner. In 2012 he moved up to the position of the Head of Sports Medicine at Liverpool FC. In 2015 he returned to London and took up the position of Head of Sports Medicine at Crystal Palace FC and work in Private Sports Medicine Clinics at PURE Sports. He is also the Medical Officer for the London Titans (Wheelchair Basketball Team) and provides cover for local professional Cricket Clubs.

Dr Iqbal lectures and writes widely on various aspects of SEM and believes that all athletes should receive the same specialist care irrespective of their level. He has a particular interest in promoting physical activity in the community and its prescription in the management of associated chronic diseases such as type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease.

In recent years he has campaigned widely for the availability of AEDS in all public places and promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyle education in Schools. Since 2006 he has been the Chairman for the FA Medical Society organising Sports Medicine conferences for Medical staff involved in sports.

The Asian Sports Foundation will recruit a panel of experts which will include Sports Psychologists, Fitness Trainers, Diet & Nutritionists, Dr’s etc that will support the Foundation to deliver projects through targeted workshops in areas of need.

Simran Kaur

England Schools National Boxing Female Champion

Simran trains six days a week approx. four hours a day and has dedicated her life to boxing. Simran has had four skills bouts to get her used to the environment of boxing at a show in a ring, and then she has had five competitive bouts and won all five – and in fact winning three by knockout! She is currently the English National Schoolgirl Champion and in July went over to Dublin tp participate in the international Monkstown Box Cup where she won Gold Medal. Now busy training to prepare for next season when she hopes have another highly successful season and be selected for the England Junior team.

Zidan Miah

Winner of Founders Special Recognition Awards at the Asian Football Awards 2016 Awards

Nothing is more exciting in the “beautiful game” of football than seeing a skilful young player in full flow of his genius, the potential for a golden future ahead and nothing but forward momentum.In the case of Zidan Miah, the youngster is truly in the limelight.

Having recently scooped the Founders Special Recognition Awards at the Asian FootballAwards in November 2015, and appearing in Channel 4’s Chasing Perfection, which explored the dramatic impact sports sciences has had on the world of professional sports, it seems that the world is truly his oyster.At just 14, Zidan is being hailed by many in the UK and the US as the rising face of football’s future, Zidan has with the incredible support of his family has a journey that is sometimes hard to believe, but showing his commitment and passion for the sport.He was a mere seven years old with a zest for football that had already landed him at theDavid Beckham Soccer Academy, when his father noticed his son’s “lethal” left foot. Itwas this intense flair and ability with his favoured game, that made Zidan stand out from his contemporaries.Still at a tender age, Zidan developed his skills further by playing for Dulwich Hamlet FC, subsequently enrolling at Pro Touch Soccer Academy and then at the Soccer Elite FAAcademy, in Kent, one of the top football academies in England. It was at Pro Touch that Zidan met Ta8 Rahman, one of the few Asian coaches in football, whose advice and mentoring changed the course of this extremely talented youngster’s trajectory and provide him with the opportunity to develop his competence overseas.After living in the USA for a year and having exhausted all options in Geneva, Ohio, the family took the decision to move to Dallas, Texas, USA where Zidan could continue his elite training but now at the flagship location of the Michael Johnson Performance Center as well as train and play for the FC Dallas youth team.When not playing or training, Zidan, who counts amongst his football heroes Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Zienedine Zidane, combines his studies at a special school for gifted, talented and highly motivated students where the full academic schedule is compressed into half the time. This enables them to participate and concentrate on extra-curricular activities in a more vigorous way. That way Zidan can focus on his training at MJP and FC Dallas.There is no doubt that Zidan is a role model not just for youngsters in the UK but the USA and the Indian Subcontinent, and shows that passion and talent combined with strong family support can result in a potential star being born.

Harleen Kaur

WMKF World Champion Silver Medallist

Harleen Kaur, aged 17 and the WMKF World Champion Silver Medallist is a competent martial arts competitor, training for nearly 10 years Harleen is now 2nd Dan Black belt in her field; she currently trains in a combined programme of karate, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu. Karate is not her only forte as she has competed in various tournaments those being Taekwondo Opens coming away with many national titles. Harleen Kaur is one of a few in her niche field not only a world competitor in martial arts, but the WMKF British Champion in kickboxing and All Styles Champion. Harleen is still a student as well as being a competent athlete, after completing her A-Levels she is hoping to continue into further education studying Sports Science.

Manoj Shah

One of the Stars of Sky One’s ‘Desi Rascals’

Manoj has over the past year become a familiar and much-loved face ion Broths TV, in Gurinder Chadha’s Desi Rascals, which was broadcast in 2015 on Sly Living and Sky 1. Manoj is an advocate of all sports with a passion for golf and the Gunners.

Manoj has been a City Banking professional in both Investment and Retail for over 35 years working in various locations across the globe, and over the past two years, he has dedicated himself to raising funds for both Macmillan Cancer Society, and Colin Jackson’s charity “Go Dad Run” which raises awareness for Prostate Cancer.