BLOG: Maryam on Dream Big milestone at Lord’s
Last month the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation attended a special celebration of the Dream Big Desi Women campaign at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The landmark celebration, held at Lord’s as England Women took on India Women during a Royal London One Day International, was to celebrate more than 2,000 women from South Asian backgrounds having taken up volunteer roles in cricket in just under four years, thanks to an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) initiative which is making the sport more inclusive.
Funded by Sport England, the Dream Big Desi Women programme – running across eight urban centres – Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, Leicester, London (two), Manchester and Nottingham, set out to inspire 2,000 women from South Asian backgrounds to volunteer in cricket through delivering All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket sessions – two ECB-backed schemes for children – and hit its target ahead of schedule.
The programme dismantles barriers faced by South Asian women by taking cricket into non-traditional venues including mosques, temples and gurdwaras. The programme also provides playing kit specially tailored to South Asian cultures, gives participants a chance to build networks in local communities, and has delivered mental health awareness training for over 200 of the participants.
Our Dream Big Ambassador Maryam Ali, alongside more than 20 women across Yorkshire, who have been upskilled through our delivery of the programme, headed along to the event and you can find out about Maryam’s experience in her blog piece below.
Pictured, Maryam Ali, our Dream Big Ambassador.
Dream Big Hit 2k! Knowing that there are over 2000 women who have been supported and lives being changed for the better will always feel incredible.
We had the amazing opportunity to visit Lord’s to witness the England vs India WODI. The women were able to take part in a number of activities on the day with the opportunity to be able to enjoy activities including kitemaking, Henna and a selection of South Asian food.
A highlight on the day was also having the chance to participate in a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in a boundary walk, alongside women from across the country. Being able to see a sea of positive faces in the crowd, with people cheering and clapping us will be a memory I will never forget.
Pictured, women from a number of different cities and towns across England came together for the Dream Big Ambassador celebration at Lord’s.
The women who choose to volunteer inspire me to carry on for them as I see the positive impact it makes on their lives, knowing Dream Big gives them a new lease of life and makes them feel empowered by meeting so many like-minded women!
Watching them grow into becoming confident coaches and carrying out warm-ups alone may seem small to some but huge for us!
A huge thank you goes to the Foundation for always supporting me and allowing me to use on site facilities to train the activators out of hours and always supporting my ideas to give the best to these women.
Pictured Maryam alongside activators across Yorkshire.
Starting as a volunteer on Dream Big myself to now recruiting and training more women like myself is something that will always feel surreal. I am so privileged to have this opportunity to break down barriers with women in the community.
There is beauty in pain – I meet the best people who have their own stories and journeys and barriers they may have come up against.
Knowing they carry on everyday with their own will power is inspiring, they use their pain and convert this into power and exceed their own goals. Watching them use this in their volunteering is beyond belief.