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Pakistan cricketers witness Sport for Life cricket demonstration at Nansen Primary School Birmingham


Tuesday 18 June 2013: Pakistan cricketers Nasir Jamshed and Asad Shafiq took time off from their duties in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 last week to witness a Sport for Life! International cricket demonstration at Nansen Primary School in Saltley, Birmingham. Accompanied by Assistant Manager Shahid Aslam, the two international cricketers watched boys and girls of Nansen Primary being put through fielding drills by Sport for Life! Coach Attiq Chishti and Manager Mohammed Naeem. Over two hundred children and teachers attended the demonstration and were full of enthusiasm at the prospect of meeting their cricket heroes.

The highlight of the hour long visit was the presentation of a Sport for Life! T-shirt, signed by the two cricketers, to Adam Ali Shah who was judged to be the best fielder on the day.

Like many schools in Birmingham opportunities for playing cricket have been limited at Nansen Primary. But thanks to Sport for Life!’s initiative they are now beginning to use their excellent modern sports hall to learn cricketing skills on a year-round basis, as well as for playing other games.
Shahid Aslam (Assistant Manager of the Pakistan team) commented that he was very impressed with Sport for Life!’s programmes of combining opportunities to play cricket with helping boys and girls improve their classroom skills. Having seen this programme in action his aim was to promote the idea of similar programmes with Sport for Life! being adopted in Pakistan.

Mohammed Naeem (Manager of the Sport for Life! programme in Birmingham) said: “We are grateful to the Pakistan cricketers for giving up their spare time in the middle of an important international competition to come and support our initiative. Over 90% of the children at Nansen Primary come from the Pakistani community in the Saltley area of Birmingham and this was a huge boost to them and to their teachers”.

Note for Editors
Sport for Life! International (SFLI) is an international community education and cricket programme for 5-18 year olds currently running in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago, in addition to Birmingham in the United Kingdom, see www.sport-for-life.org/caribbean. Aimed particularly at those who have not been successful either at school or, very often, in society, it uses the power of cricket to improve the self-esteem of young people by helping to improve their educational and sporting skills.

In the Caribbean it is based at learning centres, complete with IT, established by SFLI at international cricket grounds. It has the backing of the local communities, cricket authorities and governments in each country. The programmes comprise five elements – maths, English, IT skills, healthy lifestyle training and cricket.
In the United Kingdom the Birmingham programmes are based at schools and at community cricket grounds, which are being brought back into use for cricket and community use by SFLI. The pilot programmes from 2010-2013 were centred on four grounds in inner-city Birmingham in conjunction with 32 local primary and secondary schools, including Barrows Lane, Yardley.

During 2013 the intention is to expand the programmes to the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth and to the West Country, where SFLI has established a centre at Bicton College near Exeter, Devon.

Principal supporters in the UK include the Midlands Co-operative Society, the Home Office, and the NHS. In recent years SFLI was selected by the ICC as official legacy partner for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 and has benefitted from extensive support by the England & Wales Cricket Board in the Caribbean and the UK and from the West Indies Cricket Board.

Principal supporters in the Caribbean include Atlantic LNG (Trinidad & Tobago), Cave Shepherd, The Barbados Cricket Association (Barbados), Department of Youth & Sport, The Windward & Leeward Brewery, Le Sport Hotel, East Caribbean Financial Holdings (St Lucia), Lancashire Group and the Mustique Charitable Trust (St Vincent & the Grenadines).

Lord Newby, Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords, is Patron of Sport for Life! International.