A No Strings co-ordinator from Milton Keynes is one of 12 badminton players representing the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community UK in the prestigious Jubilee Games in Dubai.
The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, generally known as the Ismailis, live in over 25 different countries, mainly in Central and South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Europe, North America and Australia. Sport plays a very important role in the Ismaili community across the globe.
Aziz Tejani will represent Team UK at the international sports event held every four years for Ismaili athletes.
He said: “I have played badminton all my life and feel extremely proud to be selected as part of the team and to be involved in such a prestigious event”.
“Our squad has players of all standards, embracing equality, inclusivity and opportunity for deserved players to represent the UK Ismaili community on a global stage.”
The 2016 Jubilee Games, which takes place from 22-29 July, are a celebration of athletic skill, endurance and excellence, and will see more than 2,000 athletes from more than 25 countries compete for top honours in individual and team sports.
These games will be the second global games being held by the Ismaili Community. The previous games were held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2008.
Team UK will be represented in 13 sports in total, including badminton. The selection process for all the sports began last year and the trials for badminton were held at the National Badminton Centre, Milton Keynes from November 2015 onwards.
High profile coaches including Stephen Foster, Martyn Lewis and Neil White have been involved with the coaching, assisted by Emma Smethurst, Scott Williams, Sidharth Rajan and Kevin Wainwright. All the coaches, assistants and team manager collectively worked together to finalise squad entries and partnerships.
The badminton team comprises of eight male and four female players, who train at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
The badminton squad is managed by Aziz Tejani and Fayaz Ladak. Aziz is a UKCC Level 2 Badminton coach based in Milton Keynes. He is also a NoStrings Badminton Coordinator at Woughton Leisure Centre and a member of Woughton Badminton Club in Milton Keynes. Both Aziz and Fayaz will be playing men's doubles and mixed doubles in Dubai.
The top mens pair, Zulfiqar Tejrar and Fayaz Ladak, won gold in the last global games and will be attempting to defend their title.
The rest of the team members include: Asif Kassam, Nushin Ladak, Rahim Kanji, Imran Jaffer, Salim Mansurali, Sophia Kanji, Almas Mansurali, Nisha Ruparalia and Alisha Damani.
Similar to the Olympic torch, the ‘Fanous’, meaning Arabic for lantern, has become a symbol of the games and has been touring the UK at various Ismaili Centres, including Milton Keynes.
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