A decade of success has now passed for one of Bradford’s most influential sports development teams which has seen hundreds of participants pass through its doors.
Manningham Cricket Centre was established 10 years ago after a host of local clubs decided there was a need for a development programme in the area which would help promote the sport in Bradford amongst the youth.
Set up to cater for the needs of prospering clubs such as Manningham Mills and Girlington, the initiative saw children train at the Manningham Sports Centre, with the top players then selected to train at club level in their respected age groups.
Now, only one of the original team’s remain, Great Horton Church CC, yet that does not deter tens of children turning up every week to partake in the two-hour training sessions.
Last Sunday marked the official ten-year anniversary of a club which has helped professional players such as Usman Arshad, of Durham CCC, launch their career and a special event was held to kick-off this year’s courses.
Club secretary, Taj Butt, explained why the club is still an important hub for sport in the community and how it has remained an influential establishment.
“We don’t just train children here we help them get into the competitive side of the sport,” he said.
“Last weekend’s events show that we are still a largely successful club and Usman [Arshad] was even due to come down to do a session with the kids but he had to fly to South Africa for a game. Even though it was a bit disappointing it was a great thing for the children to see how far they can go from starting somewhere like here.”
He added: “Children of all abilities are welcome to come on down and have a game, and identified individuals will also then have the chance to progress further in ways we have developed over the past 10 years.
“Youngsters can be invited to train with Great Horton Church Cricket Club and then progress as far as they possibly can, whether that is onto district or county level.”
A ten week course will officially begin this weekend on Sunday, 12th January, whereby children between six years of age and 13, can attend and train for just £2.50, or £1.50 for Passport to Leisure Card holders.
For more information on how to get involved please contact Shiv Krishan on 07889 167 095 and begin a journey into the world of cricket that could end just about anywhere.