‘Barriers broken down’ at women’s sport event in Kirklees

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Nearly fifty Kirklees women and girls of all ages and backgrounds came together to take part in a sports tournament in Batley.

The event was the Ready Steady Active community rounders tournament staged at Batley Cricket Club.

The event was supported by the Community Games programme whose aim is to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics by getting more people in the community taking part in sport.

And the tournament certainly did just that on a bright and sunny afternoon.

The event started with the players taking part in an Olympic-inspired opening ceremony followed by three rounds of competitive matches.

The eventual winners were Batley Bashers who took home the gold medal after a nail-biting finale against the Batley Ninjas team.

Rashida Salloo set up Ready Steady Active, the enterprise that aims to bring more physical activity and sports opportunities to everyone regardless of age, experience or background.

She said: “It was amazing to see so many women and girls come together from all backgrounds and ages to play in the tournament, which had a lovely community feel to it.

“There was some brilliant competition amongst the girls and great to see people from different communities getting on so well with each other and building new friendships.

“To see so many Muslim women playing sport is great in breaking down perceptions and barriers within the community.

“It just shows that given the right opportunity these girls do want to play sport.

“At a time where there is so much negativity amongst society, sport is an amazing way to bring people together and help us all start leading healthier lifestyles.”

The player of the tournament award was won by 57-year-old Zaitun Iqbal from the Heckmondwike Hawks team, who performed strongly throughout the tournament.

Particularly notable is that Zaitun has just started playing sports again as part of this project and the last time she played sport of any kind was nearly 40 years ago.

Community venues, individuals and organisations interested in getting active or setting up new opportunities, can email rashida.salloo@ntlworld.com.