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South London stories: Meet Abdullah

Getting involved: Confidence and coaching badges

South Londoner Abdullah is a coach on the Palace for Life Get Involved project, but this hasn’t always been the case. He started as a participant at only 6 years old before being introduced to coaching and is now a paid member of staff.

Abdullah told us how Palace for Life’s Get Involved programme helped him:

“My Palace for Life journey started as a 6-year-old. I was a regular at Saturday football sessions up until about 14 when I realise playing wasn’t really for me. I knew I wanted a career in football, but not to play, so I thought coaching was the way.

I started to volunteer at the Saturday sessions with coach Jermaine, before I was introduced to Hazmi and his Get Involved project which helps to engage Asians in football. I volunteered with Hazmi at his sessions for 2 years, before Palace put me through my FA Level 1 and I’m now a paid coach on these sessions.

The Foundation has really helped me with my confidence. I realised that when you talk to people it can up your confidence. It’s helped me to make new friends and has given me people to help support with whatever I’m going through.”

The Get Involved programme aims to increase physical activity specifically in those from Asian backgrounds by removing barriers these individuals may have previously had had to sport.

Palace for Life maintain dialogue with the local community to ensure spaces are truly inclusive through means such as female only sessions, incorporating prayer time into sessions, moving sessions around the breaking of fast during Ramadan, and sessions for different ages and abilities.

To help transform young south London lives like Abdullah’s, click here.

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