Southside volunteer is an unsung sporting hero

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A volunteer with more than two decades of community work under his belt has been shortlisted as an unsung hero in the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.

Southsider Raza Sadiq — the only Scottish candidate to be selected — is a founding member of Active Life Club, a project encouraging youngsters to take part in and promote sports like badminton, football and cricket.

Raza (53) has lived in Govanhill since 1989, but his volunteer work dates back to life in Pakistan, where he set up a cricket team to play at club level.

He told The Extra: “ALC was constituted in June 1999. Since then it has grown and the focus has shifted to young people, who also play an active role on the management committee.

“The club allows participants to be physically and mentally active, and gives young people transferable skills and the chance to achieve.

“ALC also provides an alternative engagement to youths, rather than antisocial behaviour or crime. We have organised community events like Speak Up Be Heard, allowing the youngsters to engage with policy makers and campaign against hate crimes.”

Raza added: “I believe we all have a role to play in society, and young people are our future. Sports are a great medium to engage and develop their skills to achieve potential and become active citizens.

“I have carried the Queens Baton, won awards and led ALC and young people to win awards. But the biggest reward is seeing young people progressing and playing an active role in their community.”

Voting for the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards closes on January 24, followed by an awards ceremony in London on February 6.

The activist already has the support of southside central councillor Soryia Siddique, who told The Extra: “Raza is a respected community worker delivering a legacy of life-changing experiences for youth through sports.

“He works tirelessly to deliver change and I look forward to hearing about his continued success and recognition.”

To cast your vote for Raza as an unsung hero, visit the BEDSA website.