Rehman expands Asian sport charity

By Will Astbury

Former Bradford City captain Zesh Rehman has extended the services of his sporting charity to schools in Manchester.

The 27-year-old footballer, who was the first British Asian to play in the Premier League, signed for Thai side Muangthong United in late December but before he left took the time to establish the Zesh Rehman Foundation’s (ZRF) first project in the North West.

The Foundation is now running the Onside programme at Kassim Darwish Grammar School For Boys (KD), an Islamic independent school in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, to teach youngsters more about the sport and hopefully to coach them into being the future stars of tomorrow.

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Students strive for Malawi

THREE Greater Manchester students are currently visiting Malawi to see how a water pump has changed the lives of local people.

Wai-San Li, Jennifer Lloyd and Dan Owens want to find out how the pump, which was paid for by sales of One Water at University of Salford’s campus, has benefitted the pupils from the Lipongwe LEA school it was donated to.

They are all visiting Africa for the first time on this trip and hope their visit will have a significant impact on lives of local children.

“We want to see how the play pump has benefitted the children directly – we want to meet the children and their family and teachers,” Parasitology PHD student Li told Manchester Mouth.

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City hosts disabled footie contest

DISABLED children from across the region took part in the finals of a wheelchair football tournament thanks to Manchester City FC.

The One City PAN disability tournament, which is part of the football club’s City in the Community scheme, was played out on Friday 25 June 2010 by KS3 and 4 pupils from Manchester schools.

The four verses four competition was contested at Platt Lane, home of City’s Youth Academy.

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Manchester school wins enterprise challenge

WINNERS: The Manchester Academy team with their trophy, a £3,000 cheque and Dragon's Den presenter Evan Davies

A MANCHESTER school has won a national Muslim business competition after venturing into the Dragons’ Den.

A team of pupils from Manchester Academy was crowned the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2010 champion at the national final in London on Tuesday 10 March 2010.

The challenge aims to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school students and the winning team was awarded £3,000 towards new school equipment.
Atifa Shah, mentor to the Manchester Academy team, said: “I’m delighted the team from Manchester Academy has won the Enterprise Challenge and I’m so proud of their achievement.

DRAGON: James Caan stopped breathing fire for an afternoon when he met the Manchester Academy winners

“It’s been an inspiration to help them through the competition and it’s really given them more confidence in their abilities, along with the opportunity to think about entrepreneurial career paths beyond secondary school.

“I was amazed at their determination and how they integrated my advice into their winning strategy. The award is most certainly well deserved, they seem to have taken it all into their stride whilst I’m bubbling with excitement and not being able to congratulate them enough!”

The challenge was organised by Mosaic, a community initiative that aims to empower and raise the aspirations of young British Muslims and their peers living in socially deprived areas of the UK through access to successful role models and learning opportunities.

The team of six students aged 14 to 15 beat more than 140 teams across the country to make it to the final, and after a tense last round against five other finalist teams (King’s Heath Boys School, Feversham Girls College, Brondesbury College for Boys, Handsworth Girls College, and Small Heath School) Manchester Academy were named the overall winner.

With a profit of £6.3million, the winning team won with a convincing lead of £400,000 net profit at the end of the hour long final heat.

As part of the award the team spent an exciting afternoon experiencing life as high-flying business entrepreneurs. The first stop for the afternoon was a guided tour of BBC Television Centre with BBC World presenter Mishal Hussain, followed by a private meeting with Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. The day ended with a mentoring session with Dragon’s Den’s James Caan who imparted his business wisdom to the team.

Attendees at the awards ceremony, which was held at international law firm Lovells LLP, included Dragon’s Den presenter Evan Davis, Khawar Mann and Peter Englander, Partners at Apax Partners, and heads of business from Mosaic’s mentoring network.

Nazim Rashid, staff member at Manchester Academy: “It was such a wonderful, exciting event for the winners.

“Enjoyment was had by all and admiration to the celebs that took time out from running the country, running a business empire, reading the news and sounding off on the radio to make our Manchester Academy students feel so special.

MONEY TALKS: The Manchester Academy team visited 11 Downing St and met chancellor Alastair Darling

“It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of. The students have been buzzing about it and have been telling all their friends and everybody else about who they met yesterday; and the school is absolutely thrilled!”

The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge gives young people the chance to access mentoring from successful business men and women and develop their entrepreneurial skills by setting up a ‘virtual business’ online. Using enterprise software the game puts students into realistic business scenarios where they develop valuable skills such as how to market new products or identify business competitors through set challenges.

John O’Brien, Managing Director of Mosaic said: “The UK offers fantastic opportunities for budding entrepreneurs from Muslim communities and from all social backgrounds, to succeed and make a positive contribution to their local communities and the country’s economy.

“We hope that this challenge has given young people, who might not ordinarily get access to local business role models, the chance to seek new career opportunities and realise their potential. Manchester Academy are deserved winners of the challenge as they illustrated how much they had learnt from playing the game and the advice their mentors had given them.”

Star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw, James Caan has supported the challenge, acting as mentor and adviser to the competition’s young hopefuls. The winning team members and their mentors had the opportunity of a lifetime when they meet James in person following their victory, hearing at first hand James’ advice on the secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

“I am extremely impressed by Mosaic and highly motivated by the work that they do,” Khan said.

“It’s been a great experience to be a part of the Enterprise Challenge and it was a privilege to meet the winners from Manchester Academy, who are no doubt the entrepreneurs of the future!”

Our World – Touchstones, Rochdale

NATURE: Garside asked local school pupils what they think of the environment

MANCHESTER Mouth community reporter Sadia Habib reviews Steve Garside’s ‘Our World’ exhibition – Touchstones, Rochdale.

The Our World exhibition was inspired by photographs in the albums of Garside’s friends on the social networking site Facebook.

He examined the holiday snaps from near by and far-flung places and with permission painted a number of landscapes to address the issues of travel and environmental responsibilities.

While this means that the artist’s experience of the landscape itself is second-hand, his response to the photographs is expressive and immediate and the result is a series of paintings that shimmer and glow with restless energy.

With the help of Zahid Hussain, author and chair of literature group Manchester Muslim Writers, Garside decided to take the exhibition to the next level and engage local school children to explore how the generation’s relationship with these landscapes would differ from his own

Pupils from St Vincent’s RC Primary School, Rochdale, wrote poems which outlined their reactions to the landscapes and these have been displayed in the style of a gigantic teardrop mobile alongside Garside’s paintings as part of the exhibition.

“Who better to comment on the impact on the environment than the next generation, and at the same time it raises their social conscience,” said Garside.

“It’s about social competence for the kids – their work is being included in a public space, and if only a couple of students take this further in their life, that will be some achievement for me.”

The free Our World exhibition runs until Sunday 21 March 2010.

Stocky school supports Fairtrade Fortnight

BANANAS: Jake Mairs, 16, slipped into this little number to promote Fairtrade

PUPILS at Stockport School celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight by decorating the dining area in a Caribbean theme.

The school became the first Fairtrade School in the borough in June 2009.

Jake Mairs, deputy head boy and head of fairtrade at the school, dressed up as a banana to raise awareness of Fairtrade and to encourage pupils to switch to Fairtrade products.

Mairs, who leads the Fairtrade steering group, also organised Tradecraft Stalls at lunchtime and other activities that students could get involved in, such as Fairtrade truffle making, Fairtrade cake baking and selling Fairtrade flowers for Mother’s Day.

The 16-year-old also arranged a Limbo Competition in conjunction with the fortnight, which ran from the 22 February to 7 March 2010.

Catering staff at the school supported the event by dressing up and serving Caribbean themed foods to publicise Fairtrade products. The dining area sells a number of Fairtrade products such as bananas, tea and coffee.

The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is swapping but the goal is always the same; to get people talking and buying Fairtrade products.

Deputy head John Warren, said: “We are very proud of the work Jake and the team have done to ensure the fortnight has been a success.  The employees in the dining room are very supportive of school initiatives and always dress up to support the theme.”

Stockport kids celebrate Spanish culture

FOOD IS SERVED: Pupils with chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz from La Casona

FOOD IS SERVED: Pupils with chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz

STUDENTS at a Stockport primary school celebrated Spanish culture with the help of a local tapas restaurant. 

Pupils  at St Mark’s Primary School in Bredbury switched their usual school lunch for the culinary delights of Spain for a week beginning on Monday 19 October 2009. 

Lynn Bruce, Solutions SK Schools cook, offered Spanish style foods including items such as Albondigias (Spanish style meatballs in a tomato sauce), Magra con Tomat (pork stew) and patatas bravas.

After lunch, on Tuesday 20 October 2009, a traditional Spanish chef Jesus Godoy-Diaz, from the La Casona restaurant in Heaton Moor, cooked traditional paella for the children to taste.

The school focussed on Spanish culture and Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina this year.

The week involved a number of activities including a samba drumming band that held a workshop for the children.  The week culminated with a meringue and salsa workshop and a party. 

Councillor Mark Weldon, executive member for Children and Young People, said: “It is great that children and staff at St Mark’s are celebrating Spanish Week in such a creative way. We enjoy supporting schools that are enthusiastic and hope we can work together in the future to organise other theme days.”

 Alison Whitehead, headteacher at St Mark’s, said: “We are delighted to have the Jesus at the school for this event. The food he made is an excellent way for the children to experience Spain and its culture.  We would like to thank Jesus, La Casona and Solutions SK for their support of this event.”