Karachi United Football League concluded at Kings Football Ground, Ayub Park Rawalpindi, by Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited in collaboration with the Karachi United Youth Football Club.
This league was launched in Islamabad in December 2021. Featuring 113 thrilling matches, among 29 teams, it comprised more than 435 young male & female players, who showed great performances, till the vibrant closing ceremony was held recently. Sponsorship of this tournament was a part of Standard Chartered Bank’s resourceful social-development initiative to promote healthy-sporting activities in the country.
The winning team in the girls’ competition was SMURF FC, while the victorious squad in the under-14 boys’ competition was POPO FC. The under-16boy’s team contest was won by NISHTAR FC. The tournament inspires enthusiastic participation by children hailing from different football clubs and academies from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Standard Chartered has been sponsoring this league since 2017. Initiated with engaging 600 children from underserved communities, today the tournament has exceeded the headcount to over 3200 children, who have been supported through sports to become productive citizens. Otherwise, many of these youngsters may have been engulfed in self-injurious activities such as violence or drugs.
Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head, CABM, AME & Country Head, of Standard Chartered Pakistan commenting on the sponsorship said, “It is a moment of pride for us to see the growth of the Standard Chartered-Karachi United Youth Football League over the past five years. We launched the league in Islamabad late last year and the response received has been overwhelming. True to its promise, the league has enabled us to create opportunities, build healthy competition and inculcate self-confidence and respect in local communities, whilst breaking barriers across class, genders, and abilities, through sport. We hope that through this effort we can continue to bring a positive change in the society by providing an equal playing field for children across the city.” She added.
Commenting on the league Mr. Imran Ali, Director Youth and Community, at Karachi United said: “We must give huge credit to Standard Chartered and its leadership team, for understanding the benefit of such a platform for our youth and communities. We are now witnessing the fruits of this investment on development of children and communities. Some of these players have gone on to represent Pakistan national teams at different levels, whilst others are pursuing higher education and enrolling in coaching programs.”
He further said: “We will leverage these talented players within communities, as role models and future-makers, to strengthen our impact. Through the Liverpool ‘Train the Trainer’ program, we have delivered coaching to over 6000 children, who now understand Liverpool’s coaching philosophy. None of this would have been possible without the continued support of Standard Chartered. We are so grateful to this socially-responsible bank.”