When the young people attending a youth club in Birmingham said they wanted to play football, founder Asha Ali Rage made it happen.
BIRMINGHAM — A few young football fans at the Dream Chaser youth club in Birmingham, the UK have inspired Asha Ali Rage to start her career as a football coach, BBC reported.
“I couldn’t afford to rent a football pitch and pay a professional football coach for those young kids who wanted to play football. So, I started training to be a coach,” the Muslim woman said.
Currently, as much as 100 young people train and play football at the club with Rage. The majority are immigrants from the Muslim community.
“Some of them want to play for England,” the coach informed.
“The Muslim community is a society inside its own cocoon. For me, to break this is a good job. I make sure these children have a better future,” Rage said while instructing her daughter who is also one of the team members.
“I made a lot of friends here in the team because mostly I play very good. And everyone then says ‘oh wow you’re very good’” Rage’s daughter expressed.
The female Muslim coach trains a group of Muslim girls every Friday. She is now encouraging more Muslim girls in her community to take up the sport.
“I help them to develop their skills which they never knew they had it. I make sure to empower them as well and give them that confidence they need,” Rage explained happily.
Estimates in 2009 suggested a total of about 2.4 million Muslims over all the UK. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of Muslims in Britain could now be around 3 million.
Between 2001 and 2009 the Muslim population increased roughly ten times faster than the rest of society. Most Muslim immigrants to Britain came from former colonies.
From the 1950s onwards, the growing Muslim population has led to a number of notable mosques being established, including the East London Mosque, London Central Mosque, Manchester Central Mosque, and London Markaz.
Based on the research of Kevin Brice, a researcher at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, thousands convert to Islam annually and there are approximately 100,000 converts to Islam in Britain, where they run two mosques.
According to a Labour Force Survey estimate, the total number of Muslims in Britain in 2008 was 2,422,000, around 4% of the total population.