Chelsea's Asian Star winner lands professional contract
The inaugural winner of the groundbreaking ‘Chelsea Asian Star’ initiative has signed a professional contract with Stevenage FC.
Jhai Singh Dhillon won the competition in the under 14s age category in 2009. His success eventually led to the defender being drafted into the Stevenage academy.
According to leading Asian football website, Desi Ballers, the 18 year old impressed coaches at the League One outfit after being ‘instrumental’ in the team reaching the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
The Asian Star programme, an annual event, has continued to unearth young Asian talent since its inception and led to several players being drafted into professional academies.
The programme has attracted significant interest in the British Asian community, with over 1,300 budding young footballers participating since its set up.
Chelsea’s Asian Star forms part of the club’s wider equality output. The Building Bridges network, for example, was launched in 2010 to address equality and discrimination issues in football proactively. Branding promoting this work can be seen at Stamford Bridge this season.
The west London club have used their worldwide status to tackle issues such as antisemitism and homophobia through broadcast videos and community work. The club have also worked closely with disabled fans to ensure that they are in a welcoming and encompassing environment at the stadium.