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31 Oct

Beyond the Boundary: Using Cricket to Raise Aspirations

Round 3 of ‘Unity of the Roses’ in Hull was a huge success!

On Tuesday 29th October, 50 children from Leeds, Bradford, Hull and Manchester made their way to Hull University for round 3 of ‘Unity of the Roses’.

In a spin off from ‘War of the Roses’, Unity of the Roses brings together Wicketz participants from Leeds, Manchester, Bradford and Hull. Wicketz is delivered in Yorkshire by the YCF and in Manchester by the LCF and is a nationally funded project by the Lord’s Taverners.

The event was hosted at the University of Hull Allam Sports Centre. Hull is the newest city to host Wicketz and now has three hubs successfully up and running across the city.
The action-packed day was focused on ‘Aspirations’ of the participants, with workshops being themed around this and how to raise aspirations of the children and inspire the next generation!

“The core purpose of the day was to show the children that they can do anything they put their mind to. Wicketz hubs operate in the most deprived areas, for example, Canterbury estate (Wicketz Bradford hub) falls within the top 0.33% most deprived areas nationally and statistically speaking, teenagers in this area are less likely to stay in school and more likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

“Using cricket as the hook, we are aiming to change perceptions of the children, to show them that they can go to university and get their dream job, and its clear from the feedback we have received from the children, that today has really done this.” Ben Fraser, Wicketz Development Officer (Leeds & Bradford), Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

Each child also got a free lunch on campus, before benefiting from a cricket skills and drills session, delivered by the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s East Team.

All children also took part in a campus tour, highlighting all the different elements of university life, aligning with the theme of ‘Aspirations’.

“When I’m old enough, I would like to go to university. I would like to go because I can start a career. I would like to do such as a medical doctor, chef or artist. When I’m older I would like a job with a good salary, so I can buy a Nissan Micra. I would like to do other things such as help the community, so it will help other people.” Mohammed, 14.

“I think the campus tour was a really key part of our ‘Aspirations’ theme. It’s great to show the children that they certainly do have the option to go to university one day. Most have not visited a university before, so it was great to show them the student halls and explain how they could meet people from all over the world. I think it’s really broadened their horizons.” added, Rick Robinson, Wicketz Development Officer (Hull), Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

In the tournament, teams battled it out for the inaugural OLD TRAFFORD and HEADINGLEY trophy, with team Bradford (aged 12-14) winning the Headingley trophy and team Hull (aged 8-11) taking home the Old Trafford Trophy.

The day finished on a high as all the children reflected on the fun they had and after being encouraged to write a ‘letter to myself’ to remind them of the day and what they had taken from it.

“When I am older, I have aspirations to go to university. I would like to go as it would make me independent and I would meet new people. I would like a job in cricket, as its fun and interesting to do. I need to work hard. I will do other things as well, like learn to cook and clean.” Omair, 13.

Wicketz is a free community cricket programme that gives young people, aged 8-19, opportunities to take part in cricket and enjoy physical activity regardless of background, circumstances or ability. The programme is about more than getting young people playing cricket, it provides wider opportunities to develop social and personal skills, such as confidence, respect, teamwork and leadership, as well as providing health awareness and life skills workshops.
The first ‘Unity of the Roses’ event was held back in October 2018, in Bradford, and was created to bring together children from the two counties, more famously known for their rivalry between one another. Old Trafford then hosted the second event in February this year.

If you would like to find out more about Wicketz Leeds and Bradford, contact or for Wicketz Hull, contact


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