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19 Jun

YCF celebrates launch of cricket sessions for young people

Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) – the official charity arm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club – has launched free cricket sessions for young people at Park Avenue Bradford Cricket Ground.

The Wicketz programme, which provides the opportunity for eight -16 year old’s of varying abilities to get involved with the sport, has been running at Park Avenue for the past two weeks.

READ MORE: Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan headline at Park Avenue Bradford

The initiative – part of the national Lord Taverners scheme – aims to help young people living in lower socio-economic areas access the sport as well as helping community cohesion.

Pictured: Some of the children partaking in ‘diamond cricket’ at Park Avenue Bradford Cricket Ground.

Cricket is my favourite sport, and, in these sessions, we play real cricket by making teams and then we try to score the most runs so that we win. Every week I wait to play cricket and Tuesdays are my best days because we get to play for 2 hours and it’s so much fun! – Hassan Mousa, Wicketz participant

The two hour sessions are currently running every Tuesday from 5-7pm at Park Avenue Bradford.

Last week nine young people attended the weekly session and took part in a range of exercises to help improve their batting, bowling and catching skills.

The session also offered young people the opportunity to meet new people and work as a team – providing them with essential life skills for the future.

Park Avenue Bradford is the perfect location to launch the new sessions as it offers free outdoor nets for anyone to use, making it accessible for those who may not be able to afford the standard hire price of nets.

Matthew Crookes, the YCF Wicketz Development Officer for Leeds and Bradford, led the session and started with a warm-up game of ‘Bulldog’, and a throwing and catching exercise called ‘Squares’.

Find out about your nearest Wicketz Yorkshire sessions here.

This was then followed by a small scale ‘Diamond’ cricket match between the two teams.

After the session, Matthew said: “It’s great to see all the young participants really enjoying the free weekly sessions!

“Even over the last 2 weeks it’s clear to see our young people are developing, making friends and most importantly having fun!”

Pictured: Rezija Brahmane, Wicketz participant, in action during the ‘Diamond cricket’ game.

I’ve really enjoyed this session because I really like to play cricket as it boosts my confidence. My favourite thing to do is play bulldog at the start because I think it makes me get faster and faster which helps me to be better at cricket. It’s also been really nice making new friends! – Rezija Brahmane, Wicketz participant

Wicketz is a national programme funded by The Lord Taverners organisation and in Yorkshire we deliver sessions in Leeds, Bradford and Hull.

The project aims to help those living in lower-socio economic areas and remove barriers for young people without access to sporting opportunities.

A big reason why many young people can’t access these opportunities is due to the cost, hence why Wicketz is completely free!

Over the next few weeks, we are expecting some young participants from an Afghanistan resettlement programme. It will be great to provide them with some accessible weekly sessions, help them meet new people and hopefully we can make a real positive impact on their lives! Matthew Crookes, Wicketz Development Officer for Leeds and Bradford

For further information and to get involved in our Wicketz Yorkshire programme visit HERE.

Or contact:

Matthew Crookes – Leeds and Bradford on E: matthew.crookes@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com

Rick Robinson – Hull on E: richard.robinson@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com

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