Beeston residents participated in the launch of the Cricket World Cup community celebrations at the Dewsbury Road Community Hub cricket fun day on Saturday (15 June 2019).
Joining local residents were the MP for Leeds Central, Hilary Benn, and Hunslet and Riverside Councillor Mohammed Iqbal.
The day saw the start of the Dewsbury Road Community Market as artisan-themed stalls offered food, drink, toys, arts and crafts.
Photos: Ed Carlisle, Dewsbury Road Community Hub, Imran Marashli
A Harry Potter-themed bouncy castle, face-painting and the chance to dress up as and meet a local Police Community Support Officer were available for children alongside cricket matches and a throwing challenge.
Cllr Mohammed Iqbal hailed the importance of the event, “Kids and families, everyone is enjoying themselves here,” he said.
“People from different walks [of life] are working together as one community. That’s the spirit we like, as one community from Beeston and South Leeds.
“In this day and age, when there’s a small minority trying to divide a community, these kinds of events are really positive.
“It brings down all the barriers and sends a positive message that, regardless of your colour or faith, we are one family.”
A member of the Leeds City Council Anti-Social Behaviour Team South added, “I work with most backgrounds – it’s an opportunity where everyone comes together from various communities.”
Live music in different genres was also on offer to provide a diverse backdrop.
“It mixes all cultures; it’s great and really useful,” one of the performers, James, said of the fun day.
“My wife is Indian and I’ve got two mixed kids so it’s nice to see everybody coming and having a good time.”
“They [the kids] seem to be enjoying themselves, nice stalls they can go on and it’s nice that the police are here as well. I like it!”
The Dewsbury Road Community Hub has also recently become an All Stars Cricket-accredited centre and will provide a cricketing programme for 5-to-8-year-olds.
Commenting on Twitter, Hilary Benn MP said:
“Off we go with the Beeston World Cup Cricket Day and community market at @DewsburyRoadHub Big thank you to Sohail Raz of @YCCC_YCF Jas Holmes and her staff at the Hub (you do a great job) and all the stall holders #youcanplaycricketalmostanywhere”
The event comes during the build-up to the Beeston Festival at Cross Flatts Park on Saturday 22 June and took place in partnership with Leeds City Council, the All Stars cricket programme and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.