Ian Rush, who is a Liverpool legend and its global ambassador is current visiting Pakistan to launch Ian Rush Football Academy. His goal is to work on grassroot football and give youngsters an opportunity to learn form the best coaches around the world.
The Welshman, who is considered one of the greatest, has scored 346 goals in 660 appearances, received 17 honors, won 5 league cups, 3 FA cups, 1 European cup and 5 league titles considers himself very lucky to have worked with some of the best coaches and mentors very early in his career and now wants to give back through his foundation and academy.
According to him “As a kid we did not have much, but I did have a dream. With the help of great coaches on and off the pitch, that dream became a reality … hopefully I can pass on my experience and make a difference to others”
Oxford Creative Hub, a marketing services group based out of UK has partnered with Ian to setup the Ian Rush academy and are currently touring Pakistan, meeting Govt. officials and potential partners. Prior to his trip, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in UK Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, gave them a warm send-off and lauded Ian Rush’s initiative of visiting Pakistan and setting up the academy. So far in his visit he has met Mr. Yousuf Big Mirza (Special Advisor to the Prime Minister), Mr. Fawad Chaudhry (Ex Minister of Information), Mr. Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari (Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development) and Muhammad Hammad Azhar (Minister of State for Revenue) and has shared his admiration for this great sport loving nation and the potential it holds to be amongst the best in the world.
He also made a trip to Sialkot, the world’s largest producer of hand-sewed footballs. All major international brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Select, Litto, Umbro, Mitre, Micassa,
Diadora, Wilsoms and Decathion are sourcing their supply of footballs from Sialkot Local factories which manufacture approximately 40~60 million footballs a year. The city gained international fame when it produced the “Tango Ball” for the 1982 FIFA Football world cup, Brazuca” for the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup and Adidas Telstar for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. During his trip to Sialkot, Ian visited Leatherware, a leading football manufacturing company and appreciated all the effort they are putting in R&D to produce some of the best quality footballs in the world.
While talking to Wasim Ahmed, CEO Oxford Creative Hub, he emphasized the importance of sports in child’s character development and how through Ian’s Foundation and the Academy, he wants to setup an elite football academy and work with academia and the Pakistan Football Federation to raise the standard of the game and take it to all parts of the country.
At Roundup, we wish Ian and Wasim Ahmed (OCH) the very best in their endeavour to promote the game in Pakistan and setting up the academy.