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18 Feb

No wars here!

Unity of the Roses cricket hits mental health for six.

After the success of the inaugural event last October, where 70 children from different communities came together at the Karmand Community Centre in Bradford, the second ‘Unity of the Roses’ will take place at Emirates Old Trafford Today, Monday 18th February.

The event is part of Wicketz, a national community cricket programme providing young people, aged 8-16 who live in communities with little or no access to cricket, an opportunity to regularly play. It is coordinated and funded by the Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, and local charities such as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Cricket Foundations.

Wicketz teams from Little Horton and Barkerend in Bradford, and Harehills in Leeds, will make the return journey across the Pennines to represent the White Rose. The Red Rose will field teams from Gorton in Manchester, Little Hulton in Salford and Old Trafford.

On arrival, the Wicketz players will take a tour of the second oldest test venue in England. After soaking up the atmosphere of an international sports stadium, the youngsters will get down to the serious business – a round robin softball cricket tournament!

An important part of the Lord’s Taverners ‘Wicketz’ programme is to “develop participant’s physical and mental well-being” through personal and social experiences.

The theatre company ‘Brave Words’ who ‘create exciting new work that harnesses silliness and playfulness to explore the difficult conversations of life’ will deliver a workshop alongside the cricket. The workshop will explore the theme of ‘connections’ with reference to mental health and how it often relies on positive connections.

The combination of cricket and theatre will reach a crescendo when presentations to celebrate and showcase the day will bring the event to a close. In groups the players will drop their cricket bats to perform mini theatre ensembles, led on and curated by the young people.

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