Kick It Out ambassador Ikram lends support to Pakistan relief effort
Kick It Out ambassador Ikram Butt, Leeds Rugby Foundation’s Connecting Communities Manager, joined a list of high-profile guests from the worlds of business, politics and entertainment at the Natural History Museum in London for HRH The Prince of Wales’s Pakistan Recovery Fund Gala Dinner.
Joined by entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star James Caan, Lord Ahmed, and BBC News presenters Aleema Ahmed and Mishal Hussain, Ikram, a key member of Kick It Out’s Movin’ On Up team, was there as recognition for his fundraising work through sport to help the Pakistan flood victims.
Ikram, the first British Asian player to represent England in any football code, commented: “I was truly honoured to be asked to get involved by John O’Brien, the special representative to HRH The Prince of Wales’, and Chairman of the Fund, I jumped at the opportunity and was excited and thrilled to be part of such a great team for such a noble cause.”
“The floods in Pakistan devastated families and communities on a huge scale. The events not only raises money to support those affected, it maintains people’s awareness that more needs to be done. This was demonstrated by the interest taken and the support given by the rugby fraternity and political figures from across section of parties coming together for this vital cause.”
The first event, part-organised by Knighton White, saw a match played between BARA (British Asian Rugby Association), of which Ikram was a founder, and the ‘Political Animals’. It raised over £5,500, including a donation of £500 from the Parliamentarians for whom Leeds Rugby Foundation Vice President Greg Mulholland, skipper of the Animals, played a key role.
At the home of rugby union, Rugby Legends – including Henry Paul, Alan Bateman, Andy Key, Steve Borthwick and Richard Hill – faced the ‘Legislators’ a mixture of Lords and MPs. Four schools took part in a curtain raiser, two from the north – the Grammar School at Leeds and Parkinson Primary from Halifax who both represented the Foundation – and two from the south, with over £15,000 being raised.
Butt continued: “During the reception I was fortunate to meet the Prince again who thanked me for our continued support towards his charities. We shared a joke when I asked him if he would be willing to put on his boots for our next event.”
The Pakistan Recovery Fund is a charitable initiative convened at the behest of its patron, HRH The Prince of Wales. The Fund seeks to raise money for flood-affected victims in Pakistan. To find out more, please click here.