Students from Kassim Darwish Grammar School enjoyed football coaching sessions with former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher on May 5.
The Manchester based boys school is the only Muslim institution to take part in the coaching programme which takes part in both the school’s premises and in the Carragher’s Sports Academy the Brunswick centre in Bootle.
The school joins over 60 other schools across Merseyside, Lancashire and the Wirral who enjoy hour long sessions.
Head of PE at the school and professional football coach and scout Irfan Kawri initiated KD’s inclusion in the programme two years ago in a meeting with the Academy’s Director, James Olsen, at a UEFA B Professional Footballers’ Association coaching course.
Students who have been taking part in the programme since the last academic year spoke of their delight at meeting Carragher.
Hassan Muhammed said, “I really like Jamie Carragher as a pundit because I learn a lot from him on Monday night football and the sessions have been really fun.”
Carragher, who is now a Sky Sports pundit, said, “It’s nice to see local and other community based children come to our Academy and experience some coaching. It’s important that they feel welcome here and go away with a smile on their face after a great experience. Having seen the children and speaking to the coaching staff, they all seemed to enjoy the sessions both in and out of school, I see this as a massive success on both parties.”
Kawri who also works in professional football told The Muslim News, “I think it is great for their personal and social development to come out of their comfort zone in their own community and go to a place like Bootle where they probably don’t see many people from South Asian Muslim background. As a minority in this country it is imperative to integrate with the wider community.”
Olsen added, “It’s great for the Soccer Schools to move into different areas and communities. The school children have been fantastic during the sessions. The concentration and willingness to learn is evident to see. The relationship we have built with the school in the last year has been fantastic, by inviting them down to our Academy for a fun morning of Football and to meet the Legend himself.”