Many congratulations to Nooh Omar, the only Welsh Finalist in the this year's BBC Sport Unsung Hero of the Year Award #BBCSPOTY . Nooh, who also works for the Urdd, joined Cricket Wales running one of our street cricket projects and it's been inspirational to see Nooh's journey in sport and what he's achieved so far, so let's hear from him .
As part of the Chance to Shine Street Cricket programme, I had the good fortune to conduct cricket sessions. These sessions have been my responsibility for the last four months.
My sessions have been held at Butetown and Grangetown. I've encountered 50 different participants on a weekly basis in the last 4 months, ranging in ages from 4 to 17. Having grown up in an area as diverse as Butetown and through my experience in community work, I felt that my network within the community would serve me well, however what was most pleasing was exposing children of an East-African background to the sport of cricket. These individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds.
Almost 50% of the participants did not play cricket before these sessions.
Due to a lack of exposure to the sport in their cultures and communities, several of these children originally showed little interest in the sport. However, after being given the chance to play, many of them took to it and now frequently attend my sessions and enjoy the sport. This demonstrates the significance of both the project and the sessions. This might inspire these young individuals to join cricket clubs and possibly advance the sport significantly.
A lot of the participants have found love for the game of cricket after playing it with me for the first time, and they play in their free time in local parks. It’s amazing to see the positive impact that it's having on these kids giving them a more diverse range of sports to play.
“I never thought I would enjoy Cricket, now I play most days with my little brother in the back garden”
“These sessions have encouraged me to play more sport as I didnt play any sports before attending”
I’m honored to be a part of such an amazing family in Cricket Wales!! From day one to now. The work you guys do is amazing and the aspiration you have to make Cricket a more inclusive sport is all outstanding.
A lot of people say they want change but not so many take the required actions, and they (Cricket Wales) have for sure.
I’m glad to be amongst it and I’m really excited to see what the future holds and what we could further achieve together.