Bradford to host the first Wicketz ‘Unity of the Roses’ Day
Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Lancashire Cricket Foundation, charitable arms of Yorkshire and Lancashire County Cricket Clubs, will unify in at the Karmand Centre in Bradford next week (Tuesday 23 October) to deliver the first ‘Unity of the Roses’ Wicketz day.
The Wicketz programme – a national community cricket initiative led by the Lord’s Taverners – will bring 70 children aged 8-12 together from both sides of the Pennines for the first time.
With a rich history between the red and white rose, this landmark day in the Wicketz calendar is no hard sell, but, there is a twist. No blood will be shed between the house of York and Lancaster and no raucous crowd will leave with the winning spoils of a hard-fought cricket game.
Instead, teams from Wicketz hubs in Bradford, Salford and Manchester will unite to celebrate all that is good about playing cricket together. A series of round robin fixtures will bring excitement throughout the afternoon. And as the day progresses, the children will take time out from playing to go beyond the boundary and explore how cricket and Wicketz has changed their lives.
“One thing we try to incorporate across Wicketz is using sport as a way of joining young people from different communities, and the Unity of the Roses is a great way to do this. Sport removes barriers and allows young people who would never usually integrate work towards a shared goal.”– Dan Wilson, Wicketz Programme Manager
Our special guest – Ajmal Shahzad, ex-England, Yorkshire & Lancashire cricketer – will take part in a question and answer session towards the end of the day to mark the occasion.
When asked around the importance of events like the ‘Unity of the Roses’, Ajmal commented:
“The Wicketz programme is a really valuable project to children that have no way of taking part in structured cricket. To have a safe environment led by coaches and volunteers where children can meet up and play every week can only be a good thing for their personal and social development”
He added: “To be able to give something back to children from cities of the white and red rose, including my hometown of Bradford, makes me extremely proud. If I can inspire more young people to go on and get more enrichment and positivity out of the sport, then I’m happy!”
The Unity of the Roses day will make the return trip to Manchester in February next year, before ending up back in Yorkshire over the summer.