Muslim school students attend Manchester schoolboy trials

Jun 9, 2014 by


History was be made this week at the Kassim Darwish Grammar School for Boys as three students will attended the Manchester schoolboy trials for the first time since the school opened in the year 2000. Karim Elhelw, Sajjad El Hassan and Umar Ameen were selected to attend the trials on Saturday 7th June where all the best players in the City where trying to cement a place in the Manchester schoolboy squad for next seasons under 15s.

Kassim Darwish Grammar school for Boys is an Islamic faith school in the Chorlton area of Manchester and has an intake of approximately 140 students from year 7-11. The majority of the students who attend the school are from a Pakistani background however some come from Bangladeshi and Middle Eastern and African backgrounds.

When the current Head of PE came to the school in 2010, the school football teams had a reputation in the city for losing by double figures and had never won a football match against another school. Generally PE and school sport was not really viewed as a priority and the emphasis was strongly on academic achievement. With limited resources/facilities and having a very small pool of students to pick from compared to other mainstream schools there was an enormous challenge ahead to improve.

As well as being Head of PE at the school, Mr Kawri is also a Football Coach and a senior professional Football Scout. This academic year, the school teams have grown in strength making them more competitive against other schools in the city, competing against schools with over a 1000 intake and state of the art sports facilities KD Grammar won a number of matches and drew some games. The few games they lost were by the narrowest of margins. In March 2014 the school was inspected by Ofsted and the report stated, “There has been an improvement in the standard of Football played at the school. Under the guidance of a qualified coach, the school now holds its own with other Manchester schools and in 2013 was runner up in a national tournament for Muslim schools.”

Mr Kawri said, “It has been a very tough challenge since I came here to get the boys to a standard where they can compete, with us having such a small number of lads to choose from to play for the teams you almost have to pick lads to make up the numbers and then you have to work with what you’ve got. The attitude, commitment and enthusiasm of the boys has been top draw but it has taken time to get there. The whole culture has changed at the school and I cannot thank the Head Teacher, Mr Mills enough for his support as he really does value school sport and has implemented a synergy with his leadership. When I came here in 2010 I use to walk through the gates in the morning and lads would be playing Cricket. However, the love for Football has really grown amongst them and instead you see them kicking a ball from around at 8.15 in the morning and throughout their break and lunch times. Football has taken over”

Headteacher Mr Mills said, “The synergy which has been created by the transformation of football in the school has had a very positive impact on academic performance.”

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