Asian Star accolade for decade of achievement

Chelsea’s Asian Star initiative was recognised with the ‘Special Recognition’ Award at the Asian Football Awards in London on Tuesday night.

The annual awards ceremony designed to reward and recognise Asians in the football industry took place at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, with our Asian Star initiative among the winners.

Asian Star, the first of its kind undertaken by a professional football club, is organised and run by the Chelsea Foundation and was launched in 2009. The initiative is open to footballers of all abilities aged 9 to 12 and from the Asian Community.

The initiative has grown rapidly since then, and earlier this year took place at Stamford Bridge for the first time with more than 350 Asian youngsters taking part at the home of the Blues.

Upon collecting the award, head of the Chelsea Foundation Simon Taylor said: ‘This award is a great honour for the club and the Chelsea Foundation and underlines our commitment to making football a game open to all.

‘A huge congratulations to the coaches and everyone at the club for their unwavering support.

‘Most importantly it is for all the participants, not just those winners that have gone on to academies and development centres but to all the 4000 young players who have taken part since we launched the Asian Star programme - their passion and love of the game is an inspiration to all of us.’

Founder of the Asian Football Awards, Baljit Rihal, said: ‘The Chelsea Asian Star project is in its 10th Anniversary year and remains a pioneer in this field.

‘We commend the sustained efforts of the Chelsea Foundation in working with over 4,000 young players to put this issue on the map and collectively we hope the game can come together to make further progress.’

The biennial Asian Football Awards rewards and recognises Asian participation in the football industry including playing, coaching, administration and the media. The aim is to provide a platform for Asians to promote their skills while also showing the footballing world that coaches, volunteers, players, administrators and fans are Asians who simply love the game.

Asian Star will return this summer for the 10th time – keep an eye out on our website and on Twitter @CFCFoundation for sign up details.