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28 November 2013

Cobblers player honoured in Monaco

Northampton Town and Pakistani International footballer Kashif Siddiqi was honoured in Monaco last week under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco as a ‘Champion For Peace’ for his work in promoting peace via sports globally. 

Only one of a clutch of British South Asian football players to make it into the professional ranks, Kashif has become known for combining his football skills with philanthropic community work. 

In 2012 he founded ‘The Kashif Siddiqi Foundation’ (KSF) - a health and sports charity which promotes healthier lifestyles and encourages children to partake in sports. Building on the aims of the foundation, Siddiqi then co -founded the Football For Peace Movement alongside South American Football Legend Elias Figueroa, whom are both now jointly implementing peace matches globally alongside the United Nations.

Siddiqi was honoured during a ceremony and gala dinner attended by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Princess Charlene of Monaco and more than 700 delegates from over 100 nations, including heads of States.

The Champions for Peace initiative was created by Peace and Sport to offer them a structure for communal expression and action to support sports projects at the service of peace and human and social development. Champions for Peace are honoured as top-level sports champions who help disadvantaged communities through sport. They are role models, heroes and a source of inspiration for young people throughout the world.
Siddiqi says “It’s such an honour to join the Champions for Peace family. Sport has given me a desire to help spark change, and through platforms such as Peace and Sport, we champions can collectively make sport the universal language to help future generations.” 

Kashif has also been recognised for a number of other awards for his achievements both on and off the pitch. In 2011, he was invited to represent South Asians in sport at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, alongside ex-world welterweight boxing champion Amir Khan.

In 2012, he was requested to attend No. 10 Downing Street to discuss his achievements within the South Asian Community by Prime Minister David Cameron and most recently he was shortlisted for the Inspiration Award at the Asian Football Awards, which took place at Wembley Stadium earlier this year.

With this new appointment, it adds a gold star to Siddiqi’s accolades of being a representative for global initiatives. He is also an ambassador for The Let’s kick racism out of football campaign, Right to Play and the UN Players for Peace movement.

Currently, his charity the KSF Foundation is running a first of its kind ‘Faith & Sport’ 12 week programme.  The project focuses on bringing a concept of healthy lifestyles and cultural exchange to faith institutions and portrays how both sports can benefit young individuals hand in hand with faith and help with the development of a child.

Faith & Sport (F&S) is a great example of talent identification, sporting, nutritional, educational and faith scriptures working together to help children as well as their families understand the importance of sporting activity to promote a healthy lifestyle. The programme is working with four mosques currently and then moving the to work with temples, churches, gurdwara's and synagogues nationwide through the UK.

Elias Figueroa (Football Icon), Paula Radcliffe MBE & World Record Holder, Kashif Siddiqi (International Footballer)

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