Tag Archive: CHAMPIONS

Plucky Pakistan upset the odds to win The ICC Champions Trophy

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How Pakistan went from zeros to heroes and the story of how they lifted the Champions Trophy

Pakistan Cricket has shocked the world of cricket by dismantling their fierce rivals India to unexpectedly lift the ICC Champions Trophy following their 180-run victory in the final.

Going in to the showpiece tournament held in England, which sees the top eight teams in the ICC rankings compete, there was a perception that there was a gap forming between the elite in world cricket and the rest.

Pre-tournament, bookmakers, pundits and cricket fans had all predicted England basically had one hand on the trophy before a ball had even been bowled, and that India, South Africa and Australia would be their main threats.

Pakistan were unfancied and almost forgotten about and came into the tournament ranked eighth in the world, with the side nearly not actually qualifying for the tournament at all.

They started the tournament how they ended it, against their fierce rivals India. A partisan crowd at Edgbaston watched on as both sides adhered to the form book as India dispatched of Pakistan with distain as they put on a batting clinic with the top four all scoring 50’s before skittling through the Pakistani batsmen to win comfortably by 124 runs (D/L method).

The men in green quickly dusted themselves off and produced one of the most eye-catching results of the tournament in their next game as they turned over much fancied South Africa in a rain affected game at Edgbaston winning by 19 runs (D/L method).

Their bowlers tore through a formidable South African batting unit restricting them to a below par 219-8 including the wicket of the world’s best one day batsman Ab de Villiers for a first ball duck. Pakistan were sat on 119-3 before rain ended the match prematurely which gave them a crucial 2 points.

Pakistan’s final group game saw them play in what was effectively a quarter final with all teams in the group sat on two points after two games it was winner goes through as they took on a Sri Lankan side who just beat India.

Hasan Ali was the spearhead as he was throughout the tournament as his three-wicket spell inspired Pakistan to bowl out Sri Lanka for an under par 236 with Junaid Khan also taking three wickets.

In reply Pakistan stumbled to victory winning by three wickets. A swashbuckling fifty by precocious talent Fakhar Zaman and a cool captain’s innings of 61 not out by Sarfraz Ahmed whose captaincy was inspirational throughout guided his side to a semifinal showdown against hosts and favourites England.

England went into the semi having swept aside all their opponents being the only unbeaten side left in the competition having won all three group games. But it was Pakistan who dominated the encounter.

Hasan Ali again proved unplayable as his three wickets derailed the usual England charge as they were restricted to a lowly 211 all out. Pakistan cruised to an eight wicket win with Azhar Ali’s 76 and Zaman’s 56 guiding them to the final.

This set up a mouthwatering final as Pakistan met India in a repeat of their opening encounter. But that’s where the similarities ended as Pakistan turned the tables and continued their impressive form.

They weren’t intimidated by their fierce rivals and the youthful exuberance of rookie opener Fakhar Zaman shone through as his thrilling century guided to Pakistan to an imposing 338-4.  

India were then blown away by a match winning burst by Mohammed Amir who knocked over Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and the big wicket of Virat Kohli as India capitulated to 158 all out to give Pakistan a monumental 180 run victory and crowned ICC Champions Trophy champions,

Pakistan’s Hasan Ali was named player of the tournament for his 13 wickets which spearheaded the bowling attack as batsman found him almost impossible to deal with at times.

The trophy success has seen Pakistan rise to Sixth in the world rankings leapfrogging both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


A county of champions: Welcome home bus parade brings out Leeds’ crowds

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CELEBRATIONS: Team GB athletes are pictured on top of the open top bus

CELEBRATIONS: Team GB athletes are pictured on top of the open top bus

Yorkshire’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes were given a homecoming fit for champions on Wednesday 28th September, as tens of thousands of people came out to line the streets of Leeds.

Union Jack flags were waved and people were seen leaning out of windows to get a look at the sporting superstars and their gleaming collection of medals from Rio.

Set in a sea of colour, music and entertainment, Yorkshire’s athletes received a reception never to be forgotten as they toured the city centre on open top buses with coaches, supporters and family members.

Amongst those leading the procession was double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee.

Speaking of the magnitude of the parade, he said: “We can’t believe how many people are here.

“It's great being in our home city and we're very proud to be from Leeds and Yorkshire. What a welcome home.”

Accompanying the buses included a DJ and dancers from the West Indian Carnival, the Band of the King’s Division, West Yorkshire Police Band and the Handmade Samba Band, which helped ensure that the parade had a real Rio flavour.

The parade was organised in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire and got a ‘gold-standard’ review from Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity.

“Wow, what a welcome for our Yorkshire Rio Heroes,” Sir Gary said. “Tens of thousands of people lined the route around the city centre to cheer on our athletes and it really has been an event to go down in history.

“Yorkshire you really know how to party.”

SUPPORT: Thousands of people lined the streets in Leeds to welcome home their Olympic and Paralympic champions

SUPPORT: Thousands of people lined the streets in Leeds to welcome home their Olympic and Paralympic champions

Following the completion of the parade, all of the athletes received an invite to a special civic reception held at Leeds Civic Hall.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said: “We have been extremely fortunate to host some truly memorable occasions in Leeds, but to see so many people of all ages line the streets of the city centre to welcome home our Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic Heroes tonight took our breath away.

“It really was fantastic to see the county’s athletes get the recognition they so fully deserve for their phenomenal success in Rio.

“I would like to thank all of them for finding the time in their extremely demanding and hectic schedules to attend the parade and of course the Yorkshire public, who once again proved why their support is amongst the very best in the world.”


Those present at the parade included:

Triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee who earned gold and silver medals respectively.

World, European and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft MBE who won three golds in Rio.

Diver and gold medallist, Jack Laugher.

Paralympic Cycling Pilot double gold medallist, Adam Duggleby.

Paralympic swimmer, Jonathan Booth.

Bronze medal gymnast, Nile Wilson.

Rowing silver medallist, Zoe Lee.

Vicky Holland who won bronze in the triathlon.

Rowers Andy Triggs Hodge, Tom Ransley and Paul Bennett who all claimed gold.

Double Paralympic gold medallist, Kadeena Cox

Paralympic gold and silver medal cyclist David Stone MBE

Olympic boxer, Qais Ashfaq


Champion of Champions

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CHAMPS IN THE CAPITAL: Students from Bradford College will be heading to London to compete in a competition which focuses on developing their employability skills

CHAMPS IN THE CAPITAL: Students from Bradford College will be heading to London to compete in a competition which focuses on developing their employability skills

Students head south to compete in national competition

Two teams of students from Bradford College will be doing more than just taking in the sights of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben when they head to the capital next month, as they compete to be crowned champions in a national employability competition.

The nationwide ‘Champion of Champions’, run by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, is a competition that challenges teams of UK students, aged 16-25, to plan and run events at their college to help their peers develop their employability skills, whilst developing their own in the process.

The Bradford teams are two of eight finalists that have been shortlisted from across the UK and will face-off in London on Friday 24th June.

The panel of judges, who will select the winning team, includes Chief Executive Officer of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, Peter Pledger.

Graham Bailey, Student Services Manager at Bradford College, said: “The news of our short-listing is fantastic. We strive to provide the best learning experiences to enhance our students’ skills.

“This competition was a great opportunity for our students to develop their employability skills with a practical challenge. We’re proud that two teams will have the chance to showcase their event at the competition final.”

Peter Pledger, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services said: “It was great to receive so many promising entries.

“I was impressed with the hard work and creativity that went into the employability events that students came up with. 

“The competition has not only encouraged students to put their employability skills into practice but also helped them think about how best to assist other students to get ready for the world of work.”

Building on the 2015 ‘Prepare for Work’ employability programme run by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, the ‘Champion of Champions’ project was developed to help further education college students in the UK develop their employability skills and improve their chances of securing and maintaining employment.


Mini Money Makers

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Winners Spen Valley with teachers and judges 2 (800x533)

Teen trio are Yorkshire champions

Three young enterprising pupils from Liversedge showed their business brains last week, advancing past 720 other teams to reach the national finals of a prestigious competition.

Spen Valley High School’s ‘Team Money Makers’ were one of five representatives previously chosen for the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge county finals at Headingley Stadium.

The three strong team comprised of 14-year-olds, Asad Isfahani and Alfie Broadfield, alongside William Yeung, 13.

Tasked with planning their own enterprise business, the teenage trio created a concept for a website on which users buy and sell unwanted items of school uniforms and books.

Members of the local community would also be encouraged to donate items which can be sold online rather than being thrown away and ending up in landfill.

Chairman of Judges, Ajaz Ahmed, praised the group’s teamwork and said they deserved to advance into the national finals later this month.

“It’s great to see the kids having the confidence to get involved with initiatives such as Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge, which I was proud to be involved with last year as well,” he said.

“This really does bring the best out in them. The quality and confidence displayed by the regional finalists is outstanding and in many cases better than some of the experienced entrepreneurs I see on a daily basis.”

Speaking about Team Money Makers’ win, Alfie Broadfield, added: “The whole day was pretty nerve wracking and we really can’t believe we’re through to the Grand finals at our first attempt, it’s so exciting.

“We’ve worked pretty hard with our mentor and think we’ve come up with a great idea so I think we’ve got a good chance! We can’t wait to try and do Yorkshire proud. We’ll definitely give it our best shot.”

The yearly competition is open to all secondary school children throughout Britain who compete for the top prize of £2,500 for their school.

During the competition pupils work closely with an allocated mentor to come up with a winning business concept which is then pitched to a regional judging panel in advance of the Grand Final.

The Grand Final of the nationwide competition will be hosted in London on 23rd April.


Tycoon in Schools CHAMPIONS

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CHAMPIONS: Westborough High School students picked up top prize in the nationwide enterprising competition for their business – Ethical print

CHAMPIONS: Westborough High School students picked up top prize in the nationwide enterprising competition for their business – Ethical print

Westborough are winners in national business competition

Budding entrepreneurs from Dewsbury swapped the classroom for Buckingham Palace last week after clinching top prize in a nationwide enterprise competition.

The seven Year 10 students from Westborough High School were confirmed joint winners of the Tycoon in Schools contest at a ceremony attended by nine groups of finalists and the competition founder, Peter Jones CBE.

The students, who set up the company Ethical Print, impressed with a community newsletter that focuses on charity work and environmental issues. To raise profits – which were then donated to charity – they sold advertising space to local businesses.

Team member Suhail Rahim, 14, said: “It was amazing attending Buckingham Palace and winning both the Key Stage 4 and overall Tycoon in Schools trophy. It was an experience of a lifetime and it made all our hard work worthwhile.

“During the competition we learned how to pitch an idea, how to negotiate with clients and suppliers and how to use our time wisely. We learnt business etiquette and the approaches needed in clinching a deal.”

Since its launch in 2012, a single team has won Tycoon in Schools each year.

However, in a surprise announcement by the Dragon’s Den star during the ceremony, it emerged that three companies would share the top spot – each collecting £1,000 investment.

BUSINESS: The Ethical Print team is joined by Key Stage 3 winners, Retrocycle, and Key Stage 5 winners, Mount, at Buckingham Palace with their awards

BUSINESS: The Ethical Print team is joined by Key Stage 3 winners, Retrocycle, and Key Stage 5 winners, Mount, at Buckingham Palace with their awards

The champions had all won their respective key stage categories with Berkshire’s ‘Retrocycle’, West Yorkshire’s ‘Ethical Print’, and Tyne and Wear’s ‘Mount’, all triumphant.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mr Jones said: “I was delighted to announce the winners of Tycoon in Schools at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace this afternoon with HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of The Peter Jones Foundation.

“The standard was so high this year that we decided to crown not one, but three winners. All of the teams have worked so hard and I have been bowled over by their enthusiasm and achievements throughout the competition. With thousands of students taking part, it has been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.

“Retrocycle, Ethical Print and Mount were the teams that really stood out to all the judges. They all excelled in each area of the judging criteria, came up with some incredibly innovative ideas, worked excellently as a team and generated some incredible profits.”

Tycoon in Schools challenges schoolchildren from all over the UK to develop their own real-life businesses.

After pitching an idea to their teachers, they receive a loan of up to £1,000 from the Peter Jones Foundation to get their companies up and running.

They then raise as much profit as possible during a seven-week trading period, before submitting a final evaluation report to a panel chaired by Mr Jones himself.

The judges consider profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement.

Lukman Patel, head of ethics at Westborough High School, said he would recommend the programme to all schools across the country.

“I was so impressed with the resilience that the students showed throughout this competition. They have learnt skills that will stand them in good stead for the future,” he said.

“We would encourage all schools to take part in Tycoon in Schools. It allows young people to develop fantastic enterprise and business skills.”