ASIAN STAR 2013 CROWNS FOUR NEW CHAMPIONS
Nearly 400 young Asians took part in the latest Asian Star event at the club's Cobham training ground today (Monday).
The sun beat down on a day of activities designed to increase Asian participation in all levels of the game, as children competed to win a season-long placement within the Chelsea Foundation's Football Development Centre.
Participants competed in under-9s to under-12s age groups. Children were judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability.
Paras Gill, Muhaymin Hoque, Marco Randhawa and Musa Qureshi were crowned champions in the under-12, under-11, under-10 and under-9 categories respectively. Prizes were presented by businessman philanthropist Peter Virdee, Northampton Town player Kashif Siddiqi and previous Asian Star winner Sam Khan, who now plays for Birmingham City.
Under-12 winner Paras Gill said: 'I enjoyed the day a lot and I learned how to turn with the ball. I'm so happy I won, it's a really good feeling. I want to play more football and I want to be like Eden Hazard.'
Under-11 winner Muhaymin Hoque added: 'I've enjoyed the day very much. I want to be a winger and today I learned a lot of things to help the way I play. It's really good to win and I'm really happy.'
Under-10 winner Marco Randhawa was ecstatic to have won: 'It's been a really fun day and I'm really happy I won. We were taught how to play in different positions and now I want to play centre-back.'
Under-9 winner Musa Qureshi was proud of what he has learned during the event: 'The coaches taught us about shooting and tackling and how to get back to defend when the other team are attacking.'
However the day wasn't all about the children as the Hub2 building also hosted a number of talks for parents. These included presentations from Peter Virdee, the Zesh Rehman Foundation and a coaching masterclass.
Virdee, who is also an ambassador for Sporting Equals, was really pleased with Asian Star 2013: 'Chelsea has really changed the game by opening up their training ground and giving a chance to the Asian community by allowing them to demonstrate their skills. It's a shame that other clubs are not doing what Chelsea have done but it's great that this has become an annual event because it's really attacking the issues at grassroots level.'
Asian Star is the first scheme of its kind undertaken by a professional football club. It is designed to give a much-needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game.