Bradford City’s British Asian captain Zesh Rehman has launched his foundation in Bradford this week.
The ten-week pilot programme began on Wednesday (29 September) at Hill Top Primary School in Bradford.
Rehman launched the foundation in May with four aims:
1. Use football as a vehicle for personal self development and equip young people regardless of ethnicity and background to aspire to enter the football industry
2. Promote self development using principles of football via practical and theoretical workshops
3. Encourage peer mentoring between young people engaging in dialogue and sport activity, reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour
4. Encourage and develop projects that promote football as a pathway for community cohesion, working across all ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds.
The initial ten week programme, called Primary Kickabout, will oversee 20 year 5 and 6 students participating in ten 90 minute sessions, helping kids to hone their talent on the pitch, get fit and have fun.
The initiative will be the first of many for the Zesh Rehman Foundation.
Talking about the initiative, Rehman said: “This programme means a lot to me because it’s hopefully the beginning of helping to make a positive difference to these kids’ lives.
“Football is the perfect vehicle to bring people and communities together and celebrate our differences but most importantly learn to respect one another.”
Hill Top Primary School Head Teacher, Des Martin said: “We are really excited at the prospect of working with The Zesh Rehman Foundation. We fully subscribe to the Foundation’s underlying principle that sport and, in particular, football should be accessible to all, irrespective of background.
“Inclusion, opportunity and challenge are embedded in the ethos at Hill Top and working with Zesh reinforces our ethos that ‘every child matters’. It has generated a sense of excitement across children, staff and parents.”
Riz Rehman, Zesh’s brother and former Brentford FC footballer has offered his services as a coach for the Programme at Hilltop Primary.
Riz said: “We will give kids from all backgrounds, both boys and girls, the chance to learn fundamentals of the game both Zesh and I have grown up to love. With ten sessions, kids have the chance to study ball control, shooting, dribbling etc and in the process get fit and healthy.
“Football is a great way for the kids to learn teamwork and goal setting skills and in the process they will feel confident and good about themselves.”
For more information on the Zesh Rehman Foundation, please visit zeshrehmanfoundation.org