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Yorkshire Cricket Foundation Announces New Cricket College

YCF College

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, in partnership with education provider SCL, recently announced that a new Yorkshire Cricket College would be opening in September 2017.

The college will enrol students from the age of 16 on a two-year course that will have cricket training and matches built into the timetable. Located at Headingley Stadium, students will benefit from the world class training facilities, under the tutelage of Yorkshire Cricket coaches while studying for a BTECH Level Three in Sport.

“We aim to create a really good college – a great place to be educated, with a really good teaching environment”, said Nick Robinson, Project Manager at the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation. “The bonus is that cricket will be built into the timetable three times per week. Whether you want to become a serious cricketer or a keen club cricketer, the Yorkshire Cricket College will help students realise their potential.”

The curriculum offers a diverse range of units, such as the principles of anatomy and physiology in sport, leading to a BTECH level three. The qualification will give graduates a springboard and the opportunity to progress to further education, apprenticeships or a career. The cricket coaching and matches will allow students to work on all aspects of their game, as well as the holistic benefits that sport can offer – such as developing communication skills, teamwork and self-confidence.

“We find that combining education with sport and delivering programmes from inspiring sports facilities has the power to really engaging young people”, said Steve Franks of SCL. “We are delighted to be launching a cricket college with Yorkshire and look forward to making it a first class experience for all our learners.”


Open days for the college are on Friday 7th and Wednesday 12th April and will take place in the East Stand classrooms at Headingley, starting at 6pm and finishing at 8pm. Presentations regarding the qualification and cricket coaching will be given as well as the opportunity to ask questions and scope out the facilities on offer.


For further information, please contact or telephone 0113 203 3632



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LeedsBID is 2017 Leeds Sports Awards Title Sponsor


Councillor James Lewis, Chris Mears, Yvonne Kennedy (LeedsBID Welcome Ambassador), Jack Laugher, and Andrew Cooper

Leeds Sports has announced that LeedsBID are to be the main sponsor for the 2017 Leeds Sports Awards.

LeedsBID is focused on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform Leeds city centre, improving experiences, standards and adding value, working in collaboration across the city. The business-led, not-for-profit organisation is the largest UK Business Improvement District outside London and represents over 1,000 businesses in Leeds city centre.

“The Leeds Sports Awards shine a spotlight on the sporting skills and achievements of people in the city, which play a huge part in the work of raising the profile of Leeds locally, nationally and internationally”, said Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID. “One of LeedsBID’s commitments to the Leeds Sports Awards was leading and facilitating its relocation to a larger city centre venue to reflect the ambition to grow the event.”

“The Leeds Sports Awards are always a tremendous occasion, providing us with the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our local clubs, sporting stars, and our unsung heroes,” said  Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport.

Sport Leeds also welcome Leeds Beckett, University of Leeds, ImageCo and Leeds City Council, who are each sponsoring an award within the Special Contribution category.

With the event now less than a month away, the excitement is rising and tensions are building as we count down the days to the most glamorous event on the Leeds sporting calendar. Celebrate the outstanding sporting achievements of the City of Leeds in 2016, at a star-studded awards ceremony and dinner at the first direct arena on Tuesday 7th March.

Tickets can be brought from



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Reece Cartwright Retains IBF Boxing Crown



A fantastic night of boxing was staged at The Royal Armouries recently where local Champion, Reece Cartwright, took on number one challenger Croatian Jerko Galesic. The clash took place in front of an ear shattering, 800 strong  crowd.

Galesic stated at the pre fight weigh in that he was going to “knock Reece Cartwright out”. Aware of Galesic’s knock out ratio, Team Cartwright, knew not to take this as an idle threat.


The fight began with Galesic racing out of the stocks fast, looking to rip the title away with a wicked left hook to Cartwright’s head, followed by a huge overhand right, busting his nose. Cartwright quickly returned fire with blistering multi punch combinations and his trademark jab. The crowd was on its feet as the fight swayed one way then the other and the two fighters tested each other to their limits.


The turning point came mid way through the eighth round when Galesic suddenly slowed his pace, the intensity of the fight having taken it’s toll. Cartwright saw his chance and fired off again with his  ram rod jab and a tremendous body shot to Galesic’s solar plexus sending him back to his corner in crippling pain at the end of the round. Cartwright’s corner team sent their man back out with instructions to set traps for his opponent according to their game plan.


The ninth round began with Cartwright delivering rapid, pin-point accurate jabs followed by a barrage of punches culminating with a devastating right that sent Galesic crashing to the canvas.  The atmosphere was electric and the roar of the crowd deafening as the ref jumped in to stop the fight and declare Cartwright the winner. Compassionately, the champion went to check the wellbeing of his defeated opponent. When Galesic had recovered and was back on his feet, the fighters embraced in a sportsmanlike manner.


Cartwright was awarded an official a ninth round TKO decision, making him the legitimate IBF Youth World Middleweight Champion, having previously remarked that he did not feel like a real champion until he had retained the title.

Reece Cartwright moves on to a record of 15 fights, 15 wins 0 draws 0 losses and eight wins by way of knock out. It’s rumoured that Reece will now fight German WBO Youth World Middleweight champion Jan Meiser in an eagerly awaited unification match up.


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Local Boxer Reece Cartwright Defends Title at New Dock


IBF Youth World Middleweight Champion Reece Cartwright (22), Leeds first professional world champion, defends his crown against Belarus’s dangerous unbeaten Mikalai Kuzmitski on Friday 18th November at New Dock Hall at the Royal Armouries.  Reece boasts a professional record of 14 wins no losses and no draws (seven wins coming by way of knock out).

Reece was recently chief sparring partner to Kell Brook, Sheffield’s IBF Senior Welterweight World Champion, before Kell’s defeat to Kazakhstan boxing super star ‘GGG’ Gennady Golovkin. Kell praised Reece’s efforts and attitude and claimed him to be the next big thing if he stays the course.

Now Reece has his chance to defend his IBF Youth Middleweight title that he won by defeating Finland’s number one Henri Kekalainen in June 2016.

“I don’t feel that I am a proper world champion until I have successfully defended the belt”, said Reece. “It was amazing winning the title especially in front of Leeds fans. It really gave me a boost. Now I’m looking forward to defending my title and winning in style. My weight and training camp have gone great. I am ready for action and to do my estate and the city of Leeds proud.”




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Eight Year Old Martial Arts World Record Breaker Wins in US


Leeds lad Jake Frood (8) has become the youngest master third degree black belt in the world. He completed the five hour test on Sunday 2nd October at the AEGIS Martial Arts and Leadership Academy and received his Third Degree Black Belt at a graduation ceremony at The Grammar School at Leeds on Sunday 9th October.


Jake hit the headlines twice before – when he broke the World Record for gaining his First Degree Black Belt at the age of five,  and on gaining his Second Degree at the age of six. His success is even more amazing as he suffers from Juvenile Arthritis, an immune disorder and Severe Hyper Mobility Disorder, which means he can suffer excruciating pains in his legs, arms and chest, and which makes him extremely tired. But, he battles through the pain and keeps on achieving outstanding results.


Jake recently returned from the World Kickboxing Championships at Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida, a double bronze medalist. He was able to attend the competition thanks to sponsorship from the Stobart Group and help from family friend Chico Slimani of X Factor fame.

On arrival in the States, Jake discovered that he was the youngest competitor out of all 28 competing countries and there was no one else in his age group. It was decided that he move up from his original category of 8-9 yrs -40kg weight division in Full Contact Kickboxing, to U-13 -45kg. The children he was up against were almost a foot taller than him, but he made it through to the Semi Final and won the very respectable bronze medal. He gained a great deal of respect from coaches, managers, competitors and spectators from across the world.

He was then  asked to fight in the England U-13 Team for The Points fighting category, which he doesn’t usually fight in. Again, he fought well  against a much bigger and older opponent in the semi-final and the England Team came away with the bronze. Special mention must go to Del Sampson, the England manager who believed in Jake and selected him to represent his country on team England.

Jake continues to make his country and especially his home city of Leeds proud of him. His dream is to represent his country at the Olympics and there’s little doubt that he can achieve this. The hard work and dedication he puts in to his training is phenomenal.

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Network Rail Leeds Hands Over £1,275 to Samaritans


Andrew Davies of Network Rail recently presented a cheque for £1,275 to Samaritans at Leeds station.

At their second Golf Event, held at Wyke Golf Club, 18 teams, made up of 72 players, took part in a successful and enjoyable day. Two thousand raffle tickets were sold, with great prizes ranging from bottles of wine to holidays in the sun.

“This is a fantastic amount of money and we appreciate every penny!” said Tracey Whitehead, volunteer at Samaritans Leeds. “To put it into perspective, our trained volunteers take over 5.4 million calls from people struggling to cope each year. It costs us over £4 per call. Network Rail has helped us to reach more than 300 people by holding this event for us. We would like to thank everyone for the part they played, either by taking part in the event or helping to organise and run it.”

Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations to run its 201 branches and train more than 21,000 dedicated volunteers, without whom it could not operate its life-saving services.

If you would like to support Samaritans, or would like more information, please visit




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Leeds Mencap Sporting Dinner with Jamie Peacock


Rugby legends past and present are getting together on Thursday 3rd November at The Premier Suite of Headingly Carnegie Stadium for a spectacular evening in support of Leeds Mencap.

In partnership with Barclays, Squire Patton Boggs and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, all proceeds will go to support people with a learning disability across Leeds. Guest speaker Jamie Peacock will inspire and motivate, and the charity is also delighted to be offering dinner with Jamie as an auction item.

Individuals with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate. Leeds Mencap offers different levels of support to people with very different needs and aspirations, to help them achieve their goals.

Book your table of 10 now for only £650.To book your table of 10 for the charity sporting dinner, visit, or contact Catherine Storey 0113 2351331,

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Asian Women Cricket Team Bowls Out Domestic Violence



The UK’s first all Asian women’s cricket team recently took to the field in Headingley to ‘bowl out domestic violence’.

Led by cricket icon Salma Bi, the ‘Asian Inspiration’ side took on the Combined Services women for the White Ribbon Trophy, during a day of cricket devoted to raising awareness of domestic violence and abuse.

The occasion marked a new chapter in the game with the English Cricket Board (ECB) aiming to develop cricket within South Asian communities.

The event was organised by Halima Khan and Ikram Butt, co founders of Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line (CBBL), which uses sporting initiatives as a platform for campaigns that facilitate peace and equality around the globe.

Endorsed by the ECB and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the day also featured 80 junior players demonstrating ‘quick cricket’ as well as Bollywood dancers, Bhangra drummers and an Army band.

The Inspirational Women’s team batted out their overs, however the game ended in a tie due to the rain and both teams shared the trophy.


“Today marks the start of a new era for cricket empowering women and men from diverse communities to take to the crease and speak out on bowling out domestic violence”, said Halima Khan, Director of CBBL. “As we move forwards we would like the ECB to support more of these initiatives which aim to inspire communities at a grassroots level and BEM (British ethnic minority) women to play the game and get involved in the game’s administration.”

West Indies international player Jonathan Carter, Ex- England International Sajid Mahmood, ECB Independent board director, Lord Patel of Bradford, Greg Mulholland MP, Mark Burns-Williamson (West Yorkshire Police Crime Commissioner) and Dr Hanif Malik OBE, were all present to watch the proceedings, as well as special guest Jackie Janmohamed, President of Kenya Cricket and the first female to head up an international cricket board.

“This was a great opportunity to raise awareness of violence against women and develop women in sporting roles at the same time”, said former Rugby League and Union international Ikram Butt. “We aim to make this an annual fixture for both the men’s and women’s game, as well as expanding opportunities for people from diverse communities to take part in cricket.

“I would like to thank all of those involved. Sponsors, supporters, players and organisers all played their part in getting out this vital message”, added Ikram, who is also the Sport Campaigns Manager for White Ribbon.

For more information on CBBL contact Halima Khan on 07849 980 226. To find out more about the White Ribbon Campaign visit

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Inspirational FA Coach Annie Zaidi to Speak at Discrimination Event

Annie Zaidi

The Football Association (FA’s) award-winning coach, Annie Zaidi, who was branded “an inspiration” by David Beckham and Les Ferdinand, is set to speak at an event to tackle discrimination in sport at Leeds Beckett University on Friday 9 September.

Annie is a South Asian, Muslim, female football coach working in a predominantly male and white coaching industry as the FA’s new black asian minority ethnic (BAME) Elite Coach Mentee. In 2015 she won the Helen Rollason Award for inspiration at the Sportswomen of the Year Awards and she has overcome relentless discrimination for chasing her dreams of coaching men’s football.

Annie was the first Muslim woman to get her Level 2 coaching badge within her region from the FA and been named as one of The Independent’s 50 most influential women in sport. Before taking up her role with the FA, Annie coached the Leicester City U11s at the Centre of Excellence. She is currently working towards her UEFA B license and, after this is gained, she has her eyes set on achieving her dreams of being a full-time elite technical coach in the professional men’s game.

“In my talk, I am going to address the lack of female coaches, and lack of female BME coaches in particular, in the professional game,” said Annie. “Being a South Asian Muslim girl who wears a head scarf, I have experienced issues which come with people’s perceptions and I have had to overcome obstacles.

“I will be talking about my identity within the professional game whilst pursuing my dream. What I have learnt in 10 years of going through my journey so far, is that you mustn’t allow others’ barriers to become your barriers. People said I couldn’t do it but these are their issues and ignorance; and if I had listened I wouldn’t have achieved so much. It has been a lonely journey but people’s negative comments have spurred me on to go back and jump higher over the many hurdles that continue to be put in front of me whilst pursuing my dream of becoming an excellent elite technical coach.”

The second annual sport and discrimination conference, which will be held at Leeds Beckett’s city centre Rose Bowl building, aims to investigate different forms of discrimination: abuse, stereotyping, prejudice, harassment and exclusion; across a range of sports, drawing on a variety of academic areas including psychology, politics, history and media.

For more information, and to book a free place at the conference, please visit or contact

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Bowling Out Domestic Violence


YCCC CEO Mark Arthur, Halima and Ikram.

Cricket stars from the men’s and women’s games as well as celebrities, sport stars and politicians will be aiming to ‘Bowl Out Domestic Violence’ when they take to the field at Headingley on Sunday 4th September.

Organised by Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line (CBBL) in support of the White Ribbon Campaign, set up to tackle domestic violence against women and children, the event will consist of two T20 matches with the Women’s Combined Services XI taking on an Inspirational Women XI followed by a match between a Parliamentary Select XI and a NACC / White Ribbon XI.

“Cricket is a powerful tool for engagement in bringing people from different backgrounds together whilst raising awareness of the White Ribbon campaign,” said Halima Khan, a director of CBBL. “For me personally I am extremely proud to be showcasing the diverse range of women who play cricket from a grassroots level and especially those from the South Asian community. The event is set to be a fantastic day for everyone to get involved and show their support.”

Each of the teams will be playing for the 2016 Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line White Ribbon Trophy. The Inspirational Women XI will be captained by Salma Bi, the first British Asian and Muslim woman to play for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, whilst the men’s Parliamentary select XI  will be led by Lord Patel of Bradford who is also a director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as an independent member.

”Sport has a tremendous influence over men’s and youth culture,” said sports campaign ambassador Ikram Butt. “Young men and women play sport, watch sport, and participate in sports culture socially. Sport provides an avenue for promoting safe and respectful behaviours amongst men and young people.  We are delighted and very grateful to be provided with this wonderful opportunity to Bowl Out Domestic Violence in all its shapes and forms.”

There will be a festival style atmosphere at Headingley on the day including a climbing wall, bouncy castle  the Army Band and Bhangra drummers showcasing the diversity Yorkshire has to offer.

“It’s great to see cricket at the heart of this initiative and so many different cricketing communities involved,” said ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison. “Our sport has a proud tradition of fair play and showing respect for the opposition – values which we believe fit perfectly with this campaign and are easily translated into everyday life. Our congratulations to CBBL on organising the event and best wishes to all the teams involved.”






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