Friday, May 04, 2007

Spirit Through Sports - Khalsa Football Academy

Sikhs should use sport to build spirit and community. Here's an example...

The Letchworth-based Khalsa Football Academy (KFA) has returned from a development scheme in Spain.

The four-day project to Madrid included:

* coaching by Real Madrid coach Rico Huerta.

* fixtures against Spanish opposition - the under-13s lost 3-2 but the under-14s beat a younger side from Madrid 14-1.

* visits to the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium and Real Madrid's training facilities.

* some group members watching their first live football match - a top of the table clash between Real Madrid and Valencia.

The main reason for the tour was to give youngsters an education in football and Spanish culture.

The 'One Team - One Goal Striving for Unity' project was launched back in 2005.

KFA spokesman Bal Singh said: "It was important the group learned about the Spanish culture and history including a view of the Spanish palace.

"The KFA have ambitions to promote equality and using the powerful tool of football gives youngsters the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a footballer.

"And the KFA will continue to provide opportunity for youngsters to showcase their talent."

Khalsa's full squad was Dara Singh, Simran Singh, Jordan Mander, Taran Basra, Sham Singh Basra, Aaron Singh, Sahib Singh, Kapreet Singh, Tarandeep Singh, Onkar Singh, Chaz Singh, Randeep Bhiria, Amar Singh and Navdeep Singh.

Bal Singh continued: "After the England match against Spain in Madrid when all the black players suffered racial abuse, there has not really been any pro-active work done to help educate the Spanish people.

"By visiting the Spanish FA, the KFA are making the right steps to help educate and address the problems of racism in football.

"The KFA also visited Valencia last year in an attempt to help educate the Spanish community and we feel this is the way forward towards changing people's behaviour."

The KFA have further plans this month with other clubs to help develop the players.

P KFA also run the North Herts and Stevenage Brazilian Soccer School.

Youngsters aged eight to 14 wishing to join should send full contact details including full details of parents, name, address, date of birth, contact number and email address.

This project is not exclusive to the Asian community; members of all community backgrounds are welcome.

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