We are extremely proud to announce that WeAreTheCity Rising Star 2016 winner, Manisha Tailor, has been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2017 Honours List for ‘Services to Football and Diversity in Sport’.

Manisha Tailor MBE - supporting mental health through sportOn being honoured with an MBE, Manisha warmly speaks of how instrumental her twin brother has been to her footballing journey.

“Wow, to be honoured by the Queen and be a recipient of such a prestigious honour is something that I will cherish always.  This MBE is dedicated to the continued 18 year commitment to aiding my twin brother gain a full-recovery from his mental illness that tragically changed our lives at the age of only 18 years old through his bullying at school.  I must also dedicate it to football, for without it I would be lost, where a part of me still remains so until I can speak to my brother again”.

Manisha began coaching in addition to her role as a full-time teacher in 2002 and worked across various boroughs in her 15 year teaching career to date, before qualifying as a head-teacher in 2011.  It was then, due to personal reasons, she chose to embark upon a career change to use football and education to help her brother and the wider community, to raise awareness of social inclusion and mental health.  There are many that have given Manisha much time and assistance whilst she continues her footballing education.

“There are many people that I will thank personally, for providing me with the support and much needed guidance to help me progress within football.  One person most recently, who I met again in April this year, at a most significant time in my life where I was going to be out of contract as Centre Manager at Middlesex CoE, is Chris Ramsey.  He gave me access to volunteer in a professional football club, before being appointed as the U9 Academy coach in September this year.  I will always be grateful to Chris for his mentorship and Queens Park Ranger FC for their commitment to diversity in football and I will endeavour to work hard and continue to learn from Chris as I continue to work through my coaching journey”.

Now, through Swaggarlicious, Manisha travels quite widely, using both football and education to create social change.

Let us continue to challenge perceptions of mental health and continue to use the power of sport in creating greater diversity

“Although I am humbled and grateful, I am equally sad.  The one person who I love so dearly may not completely understand or know what we have achieved together.  Football has given me an outlet, emotional release for my frustration, and for that I will always be indebted to the beautiful game.  Let us continue to challenge perceptions of mental health and continue to use the power of sport in creating greater diversity”.

Manisha Tailor MBE was recognised and awarded as a WeAreTheCity Rising Star in Sport in 2016 and she has gone on from strength to strength.  We are extremely proud of her success and we are very grateful to be able to follow her career and her initiatives.

Manisha Tailor MBE is the founder and director of Swaggarlicious