Muslim News Awards… And The Mother-In Law

On the 23 April in front of an audience of leaders across various industries, Stanmore Jafferys Football Academy were nominated for the Faezeh Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport at the Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2018. The awards and gala dinner were presented at the prestigious London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square Hotel in Mayfair.

The awards were attended by distinguished guests from the worlds of public service, business, sport and the arts as well as senior officials from all the UK political parties; including The Rt Hon David Lidington MP (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Yasmin Qureshi MP (Shadow Justice Minister), Rt Hon Ian Blackford MP (SNP Westminster Leader) and Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece (Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Equalities).

The aim of these awards is to recognize and celebrate the unsung heroes and heroines of our community or those who have championed community causes.

As Hujjat’s Chairlady, Marziabai Jaffer, went up to the podium to announce the nominations and eventual winner, I must admit my heart was pounding and was thinking as she opened the envelop whether I would kiss my mother in law on one cheek or both as she handed over the award. It was not to be.

However, what was reconfirmed was how a remarkable group of people can achieve great success for the love of community service. These remarkable individuals, our SJFA coaches, have dedicated their time to allow the community to achieve prominence on a national and international stage. These nominations are only possible when a group of people work together to reach such amazing achievements. Whilst it would have been great accolade to win the award; we did not so due to a worthy winner.

The winner for the award was Saba Nasim (BEM BCA, Solicitor/ECB Level 2 Cricket Coach), who has devoted over eight years of her spare time to coaching at Wanstead CC in East London, whilst working as a full-time solicitor. In 2013, she set up a girls’ cricket project in Redbridge in collaboration with Essex County Cricket Board and the Chance to Shine charity. Sister Saba also uses sport to empower and promote social cohesion amongst girls from a wide range of backgrounds. SJFA would like to congratulate Sister Saba whom I had the opportunity to meet during the evening.

I would also like to thank all our supporters including the sponsors, Hujjat EC and the parents for their continuous support through this journey.
For those who were wondering, the evening ended with a kiss on both cheeks from my mother-in law.

Salaams & Duas
Mohammed Valjy
SJFA Chair