Rochdale based Shehneela Ahmed
A Rochdale based woman has become the world’s first registered football agent with the Football Association. Shehneela Ahmed, who works as a Duty Solicitor Criminal Advocate in one of the largest criminal firms in the South West, hopes that her appointment will encourage other Asian females to follow her example.
Having been born into an Asian working class family in Rochdale whose parents had migrated from Pakistan in the early 60’s; she became the youngest of her four siblings. Shehneela was the first Asian girl to have left home from her entire family generation to go and study Law at Staffordshire University; she went on to gain her LPC Course at Guildford Law College and qualified as a Duty Solicitor in 1997.
Ms Ahmed said, “At the time when I applied to become a Football Agent I wasn’t aware there wasn’t any Asian female football agent. Even though I was aware there were a few females who were registered with the FA.”
“It’s only after I became aware. To me personally this is a big thing. It is a golden opportunity for me to promote females from other ethnic backgrounds to do the same. The sports world is no longer just a man’s sport more and more females are now involved in the sport industry.”
“Especially with the Football, I grew up watching the game. I have good male friends around me who are already involved in the football industry who also have encouraged me. Hence, I took the plunge thought if they can do it then why I can’t. On TV, I now see female presenters’ presenting the sports channels same with the newsreaders. Nowadays we are seeing more and more females going to watch various games whether it be football, rugby or cricket and so on.”
Shehneela; who is a Manchester United fan, says she is relishing the test of what the role will bring. “It’s a challenge for me and I am looking forward to this. To date I have been dealing with Hard Core Criminals so what can be so difficult when it comes to dealing with Footballers, Managers and Agents.”
“This will allow women from ethnic groups to come forward and progress they careers in other areas apart from the obvious ones. This will have a big impact on my career I intent to promote more people from the Asian background to encourage they children to take part in the sports industry. I know when I was growing up as a young child I use to watch the London Marathon and I made a promise to myself that one day I will be taking part in that.”
I fulfilled that dream I completed 3 London Marathons and have run several half marathons. Done various Bike Events all to raise money for various Charities. I want to show the Asian Parents that the Sport Industry is not a bad profession for them to encourage they child to enter. It is a respected profession just like being a Lawyer or a Doctor. They need to get over this stigma.
“There is still this division between the North and the South within the Asian Ethnic minority. In the North the parents are still not supportive of their children entering into sports facilities whereas here in the South there has been a slight improvement but there is a long way to go yet.”