Sporting Equals Associate Member Mondays: Leamington Khalsa Juniors

Sporting Equals spoke to chairman, Harj Aujla of Leamington Khalsa Juniors about the great work they are doing in sport and physical activity and the benefits of being a Sporting Equals Associate Member.

1. What is the name of your organisation and where is it based?   

Our organisation is Leamington Khalsa Juniors and we are based in Leamington Spa.  

2. What were the primary aims your organisation wished to deliver on when launching the organisation?  

To give kids from an South East Asian background an opportunity to play football. The club was started by members of the Sikh community to allow & encourage South Asians to play football , however, our teams are open to players of all backgrounds. 

3. What have been the challenges your organisation has faced?  

Access to facilities and grounds to accommodate all our teams and getting our talented Asian players recognised by professional clubs & academies. We have around 30 teams that range from U7s to U18s for boys and U10s to U13s for girls (with more age groups being added every season) 

4. What have been successes/accomplishments of your organisation or service users?  

Club growth and coaches achieving coaching qualifications which will provide a better footballing education for the kids within our club.   

5. What benefits have you felt from becoming a Sporting Equals Associate Member? 

 Access to funding which was highlighted by Sporting Equals has benefited our teams and the club as a whole, as well as showcasing what we're doing in the community to raise awareness of Asian talent in football across both boys and girls' teams. e received a grant to support girls' teams in grassroots football (it was 2 years ago) and Sporting Equals helped us in getting the grant (Arun Kang OBE, Chief Executive helped). 

6. Do you feel sport can be used to connect people? 

 Absolutely, sport has the ability to transcend boundaries and bring people together.  

7. Ethnically diverse communities have a history of disengagement in sport how do you work to engage ethnically diverse service users in your organisation?   

Our club is inclusive to all races, communities & genders, where everyone is made to feel part of the team.   

8. What more should the sport sector be doing to engage with community organisations more effectively to help achieve equitable sport, health and wellbeing outcomes for ethnically diverse communities?   

We should be offered safer facilities and grounds to train and play on. We also need to see better representation at academy level in professional clubs, through coaches and players. A model of professional clubs partnering with clubs like ours would offer hope to players from different communities that they will be offered a chance to excel regardless of their background.   

9. What are the long-term ambitions for your organisation and how will this benefit ethnically diverse service users?   

As a club, the football we play has really changed for the better, as coaches are being offered better coaching education. We strive to become the best junior club within the region and will continue to ask questions of elite clubs to give our promising talents an opportunity.  

We are also looking for our own ground, this will provide a safe environment with better facilities so our children can flourish in football.   

10. If you have received funding, what has been the development of the funding?   

We purchased equipment that really benefited the club and aided in the training of our service users. The funding also allowed us to further invest in our girls' teams across the age groups, who are going from strength to strength.   

Find out more about Sporting Equals' Associate Members here.