LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR ASIAN STAR

There are still a few places left in three age groups for the ground-breaking Asian Star programme as the last weekend to sign up draws near.

The initiative, which recently received support from Asian footballer Kashif Siddiqi (pictured centre), still has a small amount of places available in the Under 10s, Under 11s and Under 12s age groups.

Asian Star is the first scheme of its kind ever undertaken by a professional football club. Players will be judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability.

'I'm fully supportive of the Asian Star campaign,' said Pakistan international Siddiqi, who will be attending 2012 Asian Star. 'It's important that football clubs open their doors to youngsters and their parents and a lot of credit has to go to Chelsea for taking a forward step in ensuring the next generation of Asians have a chance to make it in the game.'

Drawing on his own experience, Siddiqi stressed the importance of parents within the Asian community to take advantage of Asian Star: 'I'm really looking forward to meeting kids and parents at the event and hope my experiences can motivate the young Asian kids and parents can see the value of sport; for instance, sport has made me the person I am today and led to me earning a scholarship and a top class degree before signing pro contracts.'

The prize for this year's winners of the Asian Star programme has changed from previous events. Winners of the 2012 initiative will secure a year-long placement within the club's Elite Training Centre rather than a one-off trial with the Academy.

'We have seen a huge growth in the talent available within the British Asian community over the past few years since the Asian Star programme launched,' said Simon Taylor, head of the Chelsea FC Foundation.

'The event has grown massively since its inauguration four years ago and there is a real hunger within the British-Asian community to play football. We want to see more British Asians within the Premier League and as a football club we're hoping to combat the low participation levels of Asians in the game. We're also hoping to entice more Asians into coaching and will be holding presentations on how to become a football coach on the day.'

The Asian Star programme has already uncovered five potential stars of the future who went on to play for professional clubs' academies. Chelsea will also be inviting managers, coaches and scouts from clubs at all levels of the game to identify talented youngsters and information will also be on hand for Asian players to find clubs in their area.

For your chance to win a year-long place within the Elite Training Centre click Asian Star.