Tuesday , May 17 2022

Queens Park Rangers support PFA Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme!

Queens Park Rangers are proud supporters of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (AIMS).

Run by Riz Rehman – brother of former R’s defender Zesh – the purpose of AIMS is to enhance the experience of Asian footballers at all levels of the professional game.

The scheme involves PFA-facilitated meetings and workshops where scholars, academy players and their parents/guardians can connect with senior Asian players.

The mentees (players) have the opportunity to learn about professional experiences, ask for advice and engage directly with the mentors for informal one-on-one support.

Current players Danny Batth (Sunderland), Malvind Benning (Port Vale), Neil Taylor (Middlesbrough), Otis Khan (Walsall) and Zesh Rehman (Southern, Hong Kong) are engaged mentors of the programme which forms part of a strategy to increase Asian representation within the game.

AIMS also works with clubs to have a more collaborative approach to embed Asian inclusion across the game.

Manisha Tailor, QPR academy’s assistant head of coaching, said, “The AIMS programme is one we are proud to support.”

“We speak regularly with Riz and have been actively involved in signposting our players to the scheme.”

“Those who have participated have praised the project and feel it will help provide the support needed to increase the presence of South Asian footballers across the game.”

Riz Rehman, who is also player inclusion executive at The PFA, added, “We have excellent representation of QPR players involved in the programme from the academy through to the professional development phase.”

“Both Aaron Drewe and Amrit Bansal-McNulty have been involved with our work since 2018 and have always connected well with younger peers.”

“Along with Aaron and Amrit, Dillon De Silva and Harun Hamid have also shared their own academy experiences with the younger players on our programme over Zoom as well as attending our player events in the summer.”

“Chris [Ramsey, head of coaching], Manisha and Alex [Carroll, academy director] have always kept the door open for me to visit the academy and watch training which has allowed me to connect more personally with all the players and build relationships with staff.”

“QPR are a best-practice club in terms of the academy and staffing workforce being a true reflection of local demographics. There is some real talent coming through the academy and I’m looking forward to seeing all the players on the AIMS programme flourish.”

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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