Support White Ribbon campaign with Kick It Out ambassador Ikram
The countdown for the charity match between Bradford Park Avenue and a Pakistan international XI kicks off with a press conference this Saturday (15 June).
Park Avenue plays host to the Pakistan XI at their Horsfall Stadium on Sunday 7 July with funds raised going towards the White Ribbon Campaign, an international charity that speaks out against domestic violence against women.
The match is being organised by Stradbrokes Solicitors in partnership with Sporting Change, an organisation co-founded by Ikram Butt, former international rugby player, Sporting Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign and a role model for the promotion of peace, tolerance and the building of bridges between communities.
Ikram, who is also a leading ambassador for Kick It Out, explained: “This represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the various communities of Bradford and its surrounding areas together at one event and we hope to build positive and lasting bridges between people of all faiths and backgrounds.
“Qamar Ayaz, the owner of Stardbrokes Solicitors, grew up in Bradford and is very passionate about sport. I have worked closely with Qamar over the last nine months and he shares our vision to promote sport and physical activity to assist the local and wider community and provide opportunities to identify, nurture and support talented individuals.”
He added: “Recent events have seemed to drive a wedge between the Muslim community and the white British population but sporting occasions such as this will show that we have far more in common than what separates us.”
Stradbrokes are also the principle sponsors of the event along with the Bradford, Leeds and Manchester-based Mylahore café brand and Malik Halls. The Pakistan XI will feature a host of current and past international players including former Park Avenue player Adnan Ahmed.
Asghar Ali, chief executive of Mylahore, said; “We are absolutely delighted and very proud to be supporting such an innovative and groundbreaking event.
“Mylahore are great advocates of promoting healthy living, joining communities and highlighting the many challenges within our communities and this event ticks all the boxes.
“I sincerely hope that all the people from all the communities attend and help raise much needed funds for the White Ribbon Campaign.”
A host of personalities will be in attendance at the event including former Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe MP, and Shahid Azeem, an award-winning British Pakistani entrepreneur. Shahid also created history by becoming the first British Pakistani to break into mainstream professional football.
Kevin Hainsworth, director of hosts Park Avenue, said: “Bradford Park Avenue AFC are delighted to announce a pre season friendly against a Pakistan team full of current and ex internationals. It promises to be a very exciting game between two teams who always try to play good attractive football.
“It is also nice to welcome two of our former players in Amjad Iqbal and Adnam Ahmed, back to Horsfall. We look forward to welcoming a large crowd with a great atmosphere and a very entertaining game and it will be great to see a great cause such as the White Ribbon Campaign benefit.”
Ikram continued: “A percentage of all ticket sales will go to the White Ribbon Campaign and we hope that this worthy cause, will benefit handsomely from the event. It’s a fact that violence against women increases when sporting events take place so we are tackling this issue head on.
“There are more footballers of Pakistani origin breaking through into the professional game and this match will serve to showcase some of the talent that’s currently playing its trade in major national leagues across Europe.
“We hope to encourage people from all sections of the communities to turn up in their numbers to witness what promises to be a fascinating contest and an ideal preparation for Bradford Park Avenue’s 2013-14 season.”
Sutcliffe commented: “I have always believed in the power of sport to bring people together and this event offers a great opportunity to bring together Bradford’s diverse communities to celebrate our city’s great strengths, as well as raising money for a great cause. It’s also good for Park Avenue to be hosting an international XI.”
Chris Green, director of the White Ribbon campaign, said “We are delighted to benefit from this game being played so near our national base in West Yorkshire. Violence affects 1 in four women and 750,000 children each year are witnesses to such violence.
“It will only cease when men speak out against it and to have such a local involvement in our work is inspiring. We have already supported the development of White Ribbon Campaign’s work in Pakistan so reinforcing this link with our work is very welcome.”
If you would like to further detials or to purchase tickets for the charity match (priced at £8 for adults/ £4 for concessions/ free entry for under 16s) please contact Ikram Butt on 079583 29027, Kevin Hainsworth on firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.mylahore.co.uk.