Kash is a figurehead for the British Asian football community
The lack of Asian representation in the Premier League and Football League is a well-documented issue. Using football and education as a catalyst to breakdown restrictive barriers to inclusion, Kash is looking to raise awareness of the potential opportunities available for young Asian children to become elite athletes through his Foundation.
With the backing of The Football Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association and other sporting bodies, the project will initially start in west London, before being developed on a wider scale.
“We’re starting off at Harlington Community School in Hayes, but will be looking to blueprint that model around England,” said Kash, who has recently signed a contract with Ventura County Fusion in Los Angeles, California.
“The Foundation’s ethos is ‘Inspire, Believe, Achieve’. We’re looking to inspire the next generation of potential British Asian footballers and their parents to believe in themselves, by providing them with the tools to achieve their goals.
“We’re developing programmes in secondary schools to help the inclusion of young kids, and want to give them a platform with which to break through to the next stage.”
Having competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, South Asian Cup and the AFC Challenge Cup previously, Kash has featured for American side Fresno Fuego and AL Wasl in Dubai, where Diego Maradona is now first-team coach, more recently.
A shining light for the British Asian community, the Chelsea Search for an Asian Star and Kick It Out ambassador insists there are a number of issues which need to be tackled in order to address the current level of underrepresentation in the professional game.
“There a lot of factors involved. At the KSF, our core focuses on three key aspects – educating parents, diet and nutrition, and role models. It is vital we go back to basics and get things right. There are enough leading examples out there, and it’s down to us to highlight them and to encourage these aspiring sports people and their families.”
Using the experience he has gained throughout his career to date, Kash wants to empower individuals and promote a positive change in the lifestyles of young British Asians. Acutely aware that not everybody will embark on a sporting career, he wants the work of the KSF to increase confidence, and emphasise the important role education has to play.
“The KSF’s mantra is that both sport and books are just as important as each other and educate us in diverse ways. My journey has taught me that education and sport can work hand in hand, in order to achieve sustained success in life”.
Through KSF, the team hopes to equip future generations of youngsters with the right tools for success and help not only platform their talents, but give them a realist chance to live their dreams.
To find out more about the Kashif Siddiqi Foundation, please click here.
To find out more about Ventura County Fusion, please click here.