Rugby League


23 Aug 2023

Three nominees for Rugby League at the inaugural Nujum Sports Awards

Three nominees for Rugby League at the inaugural Nujum Sports Awards

The inaugural Nujum Sports Awards take place at Fulham FC, London, this Sunday (27 August) and Rugby League has nominations in three of the six categories. 

Nujum Sports is a London-based not-for-profit organisation which aims to support Muslim athletes flourish and fulfil their potential. The awards event will bring together a host of Muslim athletes, clubs and professional staff from across all sports on what the organisers say is a day for ‘enjoying and celebrating Nujum’s vision of building a world where Muslim athletes can flourish and fulfil their potential’. 

Rugby League is represented in the following categories, alongside nominees from the worlds of boxing, cricket and football.   

Athlete of the Year 

London Broncos’ Iliess Macani is nominated in the category for athletes who have ‘challenged and improved the status quo’, and have been positive representatives of Muslim athletes.

Ambassador for Change

RFL inclusion lead Ben Abberstein is nominated in the category for people who have changed the way an institution or club deals with Muslim athletes and their needs. 

Institutional leader award

The RFL is nominated for Institutional Leader – an award for a club or organisation that has demonstrated its commitment to supporting Muslim athletes. 

In 2021 the RFL became English sport’s first governing body to sign the Muslim Athlete Charter, which has also been signed by Bradford Bulls, London Broncos, Midlands Hurricanes, Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves. The charter aims to encourage the active involvement of Muslim athletes in sport, and to advance inclusion and diversity at all levels. 

Nominees were shortlisted on the basis of ‘merit, resolve and passion’, while the winners will be chosen by partners and sponsors of Nujum Sports, including Troy Townsend and Maamun Hajmahmud from Kick It Out. 

Harun Rashid, Nujum Sports Director of EDI and Community, says:

“These awards are dedicated to recognising and honouring the relentless efforts, determination and inspiration of athletes, clubs and organisations that have significantly contributed to promoting Muslim inclusivity in the world of sport. By highlighting the achievements of those who have worked towards Muslim inclusion, we aim to inspire and elevate, celebrate champions of industry with a view to create a more inclusive sporting environment for all.

“The selection process for the Nujum Sports Awards is rigorous, transparent and based on merit. An esteemed panel of judges, representing diverse backgrounds and expertise have toiled over months of discussion and debate to create what has been an amazing and inspiration list of players, clubs, and organisations.” 

The other three categories are: Young Athlete of the Year; Coach of the Year; and Community Champion. Winners will be announced at the Nujum Sports 3rd anniversary event at Fulham FC on Sunday 27 August.

More information about Nujum Sports is available at


PHOTO (l-r): Ben Abberstein (RFL); Iliess Macani (London Broncos); Ebadur Rahman (Nujum Sports); Jameel Rasheed (Nujum Sports) at the presentation of a Ramadan Pack to Iliess in March 2023.