Nida Trust, established in 2005, is an educational charity which focuses on raising the aspirations and achievements of young people. It works collaboratively with parents, teachers and community groups to raise awareness and deliver key services that provide the best possible development opportunities for young people. One of its projects works to support and develop excellence in UK Muslim Schools, they have over 100 national member schools so to achieve this award is great significance and importance to the London Islamic School, its pupils, borough and community at large.
The awards were judged by a panel of senior educationalists including Dr Jacek Brant , Head of Faculty at the Institute of Education (IOE), Rukshana Yaqoob (Regional Adviser, National Strategies, Department of Education), Dr Mohammed Abdul Bari, (Former Secretary General, MCB), Mr Amjad Malik (Registered Ofsted Inspector) and Mr Phillip Preedy (Director, Ascot education). The judges followed four criteria; one, how innovative the project is; two, have exceptional resources been utilised to deliver the project?; three, has the project achieved outstanding outcomes for students?; four, how the funding will be used to develop the project. The judges deemed the United Madrasah Championships as a very innovative project used as a stepping stone to promote excellence in sport amongst Muslim schools.
The United Madrasah Championships are inter school competitions involving all the Muslim boys secondary schools in Tower Hamlets including London Islamic School, London East Academy, Mazahirul Uloom, Jamiatul Ummah and Darul Hadis Latifiah. Currently there are two annual competitions, an Athletics Championships incorporated with health stalls from voluntary sector groups which takes place in Mile End Stadium and a Football Championships which takes place in Stepney Green Astro Turf with further plans to expand to other competitions next year such as dragon boat racing at the Shadwell basin as well as involve independent schools from other faiths, independent girls and primary schools. The UMC projects are now officially organized in association with Newark Youth London who are an established youth group based in Tower Hamlets. Both London Islamic School and Newark Youth London are working together to expand the project to reach new heights.
The intention behind this project is to foster the spirit of brotherhood/unity amongst Muslim schools, for students to benefit from information, advice and guidance through health stalls and to counter social exclusion by filtering students from independent schools to mainstream sport by using the project as a stepping stone to identify the gifted and talented athletes and footballers in Muslim schools in order to make referrals to the borough athletics team and local football academy Newark Youth London leading to possible semi professional football for Sporting Bengal FC.
An overwhelmed Arif Abdurrahmaan said ‘I personally accept this award on behalf of everyone involved in the project including the London Islamic School staff and student volunteers, for this has always been a team effort. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the other schools involved for their contribution and participation, for the events would not be what they are without their contribution and efforts. Sport is something very dear to me, especially during my childhood as it was one of the key factors which developed many of my skills and occupied a lot of my time allowing me to abstain from the anti social behaviour which young people are surrounded by these days, something very important for the young people of today, this has been one of the driving forces for my efforts. I hope this award is a motivation for us to continue our hard work and for Allah to accept our intentions and efforts’.
The Headteacher of London Islamic School, Ustadh Abdulhadi Mamon said ‘Ustadh Arif Abdurrahmaan has worked tirelessly and passionately on this project and continues to do so, I am extremely pleased that he has been recognised not just locally, but nationally for his efforts and pray he continues with the hard work he is doing at the school.’
Extract from The Muslim Post:
Arif Abdurrahmaan, the P.E Teacher of London Islamic School (LIS), a Muslim Secondary school for Boys, situated at Esha’atul Islam Ford Square Masjid, Tower Hamlets, was awarded the Nida Trust National Muslim Teachers’ Creativity and Innovation Sport Award 2011 sponsored by the Muslim Aid, for his initiation, set up and organisation of the annual United Madrasah Championships projects The prestigious gala dinner was attended by more than 400 delegates and senior educationalists and trainers on Saturday the 28th May 2011 held at the at the London Muslim Centre (LMC).Read more