Peter Virdee, one of the country's leading businessmen and philanthropists, has added his support to Chelsea Football Club's ground-breaking Asian Star project.

As an ambassador for Sporting Equals, Virdee acknowledged the great work the Asian Star programme undertakes to combat low participation levels of British Asians in football.

Since Chelsea FC launched the initiative in 2009, more than 1400 young British Asians have taken part in the Asian Star programme and five previous winners have gone on to represent professional club academies.

This year, Chelsea FC has teamed up with Sporting Equals to help create the best Asian Star event yet. Sporting Equals is an organisation that works to promote the inclusion of under-represented communities in sport and physical activity.

I am extremely delighted to be supporting this year's Asian Star campaign alongside Sporting Equals and Chelsea FC,' said Virdee. 'Initiatives like Asian Star is a positive step in the right direction in highlighting exciting times ahead and more importantly that football is open to the Asian community.'

As well as running a successful property business, Virdee, who was born and raised in Birmingham, has backed a number of important issues to help people all over the world suffering hardship or distress.

Over the years, he has supported a number of charities, including The Prince's Trust, Mencap, British Red Cross, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Jaralam Trust as well as the Tsunami disaster relief fund.

He is also the first Sikh patron on the board of the English National Opera and sits on the UK philanthropy board of Coutts & Co Private Bank UK. In recent times he has been invited to St James' Palace to meet the Queen and was part of a select Sikh Delegation to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales at the Indian war memorial in Neuve-Chapelle in France.

Chelsea FC's Asian Star programme offers young British Asians in the Under-9 to Under-12 category the chance to win a year-long placement within the Chelsea FC Foundation Football Development Centre.

Applications for Asian Star 2013, which will take place at the club's training ground in Cobham on Monday 6 May, are now open. Visit for more information.