Oldham’s Red Star Bengal picked-up the Mumtaz Ellahi Community Sports Award at Fusion.

For more than three decades this dedicated community football club has been organising a range of activities for young people in Oldham.

Assisted by a team of hard-working volunteers, Red Star Bengal have helped to inspire a new level of pride in their community.

Jewel Miah from the club said, "It's a privilege to win this award. This award is for all the volunteers, all the people that have been associated with the club.  We're all one family from Oldham. It's an honour to be here tonight."

The Oldham Times:

The club were presented the award by the Chief Constable of Lancashire Police Andy Rhodes and the son of Mumtaz Ellahi, Ajwer.

The club was established in 1986 and has continued to provide football as a tool to divert younger members of the community in town away from drugs, violence and anti-social behaviour, as well as playing a key role in breaking cultural and religious barriers.

They currently holds Sunday training sessions, in partnership with Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) for Under 11s , Under 16s and Open Age and Vets.

The club’s junior and youth sessions regularly attract over 50-60 players of all abilities and ethnicity. This year the club has prioritised breaking barriers and increasing the participation of girls, which it has done significantly attracting many girls within a short space of time.

The club regularly organises junior, youth and adult local, regional and national football tournaments to bring communities together.

Through football, the club has helped to tackle many barriers and has created opportunities for young people. The club works very closely in partnership with the local youth association, mosques, other football teams, Oldham Council, the Police and voluntary and statutory organisations.

Within the past year the club initiated a pioneering and a successful Q & A session for players from Oldham Athletic Football Club inside the Mosque.

The club works closely with schools, having stalls at open days and providing coaching sessions promoting sport and healthy living.

The Mumtaz Ellahi Community Sports award recognises the immense work of individuals or groups who volunteer their services to the development or organisation of local sport. I tis awarded in memory of Mumtaz Ellahi who was a highly respected Ju Jitsu instructor and community worker who died aged 46 in December 2007. Through sport Mumtaz, a sixth Dan himself, not only helped bring communities together but also instilled a level of discipline into youngsters.