A CRICKET programme designed to empower women from South Asian backgrounds to get involved in coaching has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to community sport, taking home the Transforming Coaching Award at this year’s UK Coaching Awards.

The ‘Dream Big Desi Women’ project, which runs in seven cities including Bradford, was set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to recruit 2,000 female volunteers from South Asian communities for its All Stars Cricket programme.

The project addressed the cultural barriers to coaching by holding sessions in non-traditional locations where the women could feel comfortable and travel to easily, including faith and community spaces. They also introduced modest kit options for volunteers, including longer t-shirts, loose fitting trousers, long-sleeve skins and a sports hijab.

Zahra Khamisa, ECB City Programme Executive said: “So many of our volunteers have grown through this project, especially through their social skills – their confidence, their resilience and their self-esteem. It was so brilliant that we were able to do that by taking cricket to them, into these urban areas, into their communities and really supporting them, training them and providing them with everything they needed to believe in themselves."