Wednesday 16 November 2011
Barclays Community Sports Award winner Rabiya Ahmed achieved a dream by meeting her hero Kenny Dalglish.
The 18-year-old from Preston claimed the 2010/11 Barclays Community Sports Award of the Season prize for her work with the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme in Lancashire, where she has provided sport schemes for local women and ethnic minorities in the area.
As part of the prize, backed by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League and the Football Foundation, she was invited to meet the Merseysiders' manager at Liverpool's Melwood training ground.
She said: "I was thrilled to win the award but this really was the icing on the cake for me because I have always idolised King Kenny."
Over the last two years Rabiya has worked in a voluntary capacity with the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme, establishing a number of schemes for women from ethnic minorities who previously did not take part in any sporting activities.
Rabiya has managed to increase the numbers of ethnic minority women participating in football, runs a number of football teams, and has set up swimming and fitness sessions to increase sporting participation amongst ethnic minority women who have suffered from social exclusion.
She has also managed to encourage a further 25 women to become volunteers like herself.
Due to her commitment to the local community and the positive effect she has had on the women in Preston, Rabiya has been chosen as the first winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Season.
Commenting on winning the award Rabiya said: "I am delighted to have my work recognised by winning this award. I wanted to increase participation among women in Preston and the prize money will be a great help in continuing the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme."
Gareth Southgate, who heads up the judging panel for the award, said: "Rabiya is a worthy winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award.
"Her work is a credit to herself and her family, and I hope will be an inspiration for others to become involved with community sport. I am particularly impressed with the increase in numbers of women participating in sport thanks to her volunteering."