One of the lasting experiences of my US State Department – Interntaional Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) – was getting a chance to fall in love baseball.
So when the NBA decided to come fly in more than 340 tons of clay from Pennsylvania to London, I had to go and watch two of the oldest rivalries and greatest baseball teams of all time – Yankees vs Red Socks.
The build up was great, and the merchandise had sold out by the second innings of the second day but the games were memorable more for the unbelievable high record scoring, which is not a common feature for harden baseball fans, you can be lucky to see one home in a game.
The London Stadium did us proud. It was the first time a US sport has been played at the stadium and while not having the history soaked atmosphere like their US ball parks elders, the modern facilities helped to get crowds around easily, with plenty of leg room for us taller fans.
The atmosphere was good, but missed the religiously devoted fans, who can shout out the stats and moan at their star players with confidence in the knowledge their knew each batting average by heart.
But one essential thing missing was the food for me. Despite the featuring the footlong nacho treat and £24, two-foot long, 2,000 calorie Boomstick hot dog and our local Brits vendors been trained in the art of hawking, the thing missing from any New York sporting game is the Kosher hot dog!
Amazing experience, let’s make sure when the Cubs visit next year they bring the Kosher hot dogs from Wrigley Stadium!
Harris is board member for the Prince's Trust Mosaic initiative. He was appointed as Mosaic’s first honorary patron and was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award for Philanthropy Advocate 2013 for raising £1m within 12 months for various charities working in deprived communities in the UK, becoming the youngest and first Muslim to receive this honour. He now serves as a judge for the awards.
Harris is the co-founder of the Naz Legacy Foundation, which aims to enhance educational excellence and positive integration. It was established in memory of his late father, Naz Bokhari OBE, the first Asian/Muslim head teacher in the UK. The Foundation was honoured to be awarded the Big Society Award 2014 by the Prime Minister. Harris is also an ambassador for the British Asian Trust.
Harris’s interfaith work has included organising the first ever engagement event between national community, women and youth leaders from the Jewish and Muslim communities meeting with the new Chief Rabbi in Finchley Kinloss Synagogue. Harris was one of the first Muslims to be invited to the Chief Rabbi’s installation ceremony and was selected to be an Ariane De Rothschild fellow, in partnership with Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and King’s College. Harris also organised the first youth interfaith iftar at Lambeth Palace, which brought together the Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi, Mayor of London and over 100 youth leaders from each of London’s boroughs – representing all faiths and none.
Harris was awarded an OBE in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours List for services for young people and interfaith relations; named as one of 40 people in finance who goes further for good causes by Financial News Extra Mile List; and named as one of London’s most influential figures by the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list.
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