Sports Roundup Highlights

    By Sonia RANDEV

    U-19 India Cricket team storm into semi-final showdown against Pakistan

    India made a statement by beating Bangladesh by 131 runs to land a tantalising semi-final against arch enemies Pakistan.
    The three times Under-19 World Cup champions put on a fine display with Captain Prithvi Shaw winning the toss and opting to bat first. Vice-captain Shubnam Gill was once again in the thick of the runs scoring his third consecutive fifty.
    Bangladesh put on a brave fight with Qazi Onik eventually taking Gill out. As they took to the batting field it was only Pinak Ghosh who top scored with 43 for Bangladesh.
    As one of the tournament favourites, India just proved too much and will now face Pakistan on Tuesday in Christchurch.

    England lose by three wickets to Australia bringing their lead in the ODI series to 3-1

    FA Cup Fourth Round: Friday

    Sheffield Wednesday 3 Reading 1

    Yeovil Town faced Manchester United last night with Alexis Sanchez putting on a fine display in his debut for the Reds. The score ended 4-0 to Manchester United.

    FA Cup Fourth Round Results:Today

    Leicester 5 Peterborough 1

    Southampton 1 Watford 0

    Coventry 1 MK dons 0

    Hull City 2 Nottm Forest 1

    Millwall 2 Rochdale 2

    Sheff United 1 Preston 0

    Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 1

    Huddersfield 1 Birmingham 1

    Notts County 1 Swansea 1

    Wigan Athletic 2 West Ham 0

    Newport County 1 Tottenham 1

    Liverpool v West Brom kick off at 19.45pm tonight

    Main Photo Credit: BBC Sport

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    Weekend Sports Roundup


    Premier League Highlights:

    Chelsea stutter to a third successive goalless draw against Leicester

    Arsenal’s form takes another major slump after losing 2-1 to Bournemouth. Sanchez move could be confirmed anytime soon as Manchester United look favourites in signing him ahead of their rivals Manchester City

    Tottenham put on a fine display beating West Ham 4-0.Harry Kane reaches a new milestone by breaking Teddy Sheringham’s record of 97 premier league goals for Tottenham. The 24 year old striker scored twice against West Ham to bring his tally up to 98 league goals in 135 appearances.

    Liverpool were on fire against Manchester City scoring 3 goals in the space of 9 minutes with City trailing 4-1.Silva and Gundogan grabbed two goals back but the end score was Liverpool 4 Manchester City 3.Liverpool move into third place on the Premier League table.

    Womens Football:

    FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup Semi-Final
    Arsenal Women v Reading Women

    Arsenal Women have booked their place in the FA Continental Tyres Cup Final with a late winner scored by Jordan Nobbs.

    Defending Champions Man City Women beat Chelsea Ladies 1-0 which was scored in the 18th minute by Nadia Nadim.
    Arsenal Women now face Man City Women in the final.


    This week saw Amir King Khan announce his return to the world of Boxing to a packed press conference in London on Wednesday.
    In a surprise turn of events, fans and industry professionals were shocked to hear that Khan had decided to sign a promotional fight deal with Match room Boxing and Eddie Hearn after previous spats. Amir Khan has signed a 3 fight deal for 2018 with his comeback fight taking place on UK soil at the Liverpool Echo Arena on April 21.
    Full feature and highlights from the press conference where our sports correspondent Sonia Randev was present will be out this week. Opponent to be announced this week.

    Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker world title unification fight was officially announced today. The WBO, WBA and IBF belts will be on the line as the heavy weight rivals come face to face at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on March 31 live on Sky Sports box office. This is the first time two reigning heavy weight champions have fought in Britain.
    Full press conference and feature will follow next week.


    Thursday 11 January saw NBA hit the UK at London’s o2 arena where the Philadelphia 76ers took on the Boston Celtics. The Celtics beat the 76ers 114-103.Full feature out this week where Sonia Randev was live reporting from the packed arena.

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    TEAM GB Flyweight flying the flag high


    TEAM GB Laura Rose Pain is not your average athlete.

    Born with dis-located hips, having trouble walking in her early years and then being told that the odds were stacked against her and that there was a strong possibility that she may not be able to participate in sport, would be enough to discourage most from seeing any positive light in the future.

    However this was not something Laura was willing to accept. Her determination and passion became an obsession to change the outcome of her current situation and prove the doctors wrong.
    Laura has always been a sports enthusiast and even against doctors orders she participated in physical activity by playing football in her Primary years. It was thereafter with the rule that there was not to be any mixed teams; Laura found a girl’s team called Guildford Saints. She then moved to another club called Mousey before getting scouted for Chelsea Ladies.

    She started playing for The Chelsea Ladies Academy from the age of 14 where she felt her development as a football player was really improving, however her hips started to get a clicking sensation every time she played. She was later informed by the doctors that she had a condition called snapping hips which is when two bones snap together every time you move your legs. The decision then followed for her to hang her boots up.

    “It wasn’t an easy decision to stop playing football. Even at times when I had felt discomfort I stopped for a while with hope the pain would ease but reality was I could no longer continue.”

    After a successful operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital, her passion for sports was stronger than ever and it was here she decided to try something different to enable her to continue building her fitness. The hospital had advised that kickboxing would be a good option as it would help with flexibility in the muscles.

    “I still had a huge passion for sport, I wanted to move sports and try something completely different. So I heard there was a kickboxing club down the road from me and thought it would be worth me attending to keep my fitness up and learn self defense at the same time."

    A few years down the line after competing in a few kickboxing tournaments she decided to make the move into Boxing. It was from this moment of stepping into a boxing gym that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life.An intense burning desire to help achieve her goals to make the Team GB squad.

    “I stepped into a boxing gym to only improve my hand skill. It was from my first outing that I felt a buzz like I had never felt before. It’s fair to say I felt a connection with the sport instantly.With Boxing I was taken in straight away and made to feel like I belonged and was part of a family. I simply didn’t want to put the gloves down; it was a new challenge but a challenge that I Knew I wouldn’t get bored with.”

    Wanting to follow suit and head in the same direction as her role model Nicola Adams, she participated in trials to secure a place in the squad.

    “I took part in a series of trials called discover your fight. After tough sparring, boxing and fitness tests, I was selected for Team GB Boxing. What an experience this has been. I have so many people to thank that have supported me with my journey so far.My Kick Boxing coach Sean McCarthy and John my boxing trainer who is everything you could ever want in a coach. My family who have encouraged me to carry on. I am thoroughly enjoying being a part of the squad and look forward to setting some new goals for 2018.I just want to inspire the next generation and focus on the task ahead of me.”

    So from being told she may never be able to play sports to now becoming a member of the Team GB squad it is testament to the dedication and character she has shown to make a lifelong dream become a reality.
    19 Year old Laura Pain is flying her own flag high, proving that if you really want something it takes sacrifice,self-belief and determination. A shining example to all.A role model who has the ability to inspire the most uninspired with all that she has accomplished so far.


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    Super Sandeep set for Stardom

    By Sonia RANDEV

    Ever since she was able to walk, Sandeep Tak has had a football glued to her feet.

    A lifelong Manchester United fan, football has played a pivotal part in her younger years being the only female to represent her school team during primary years.

    In a community that in some aspect is still yet to embrace British Asians pursuing a career in football, Sandeep’s journey has been a positive reflection that not all suffer from the fear of change or the fear of allowing their children to take a non traditional Asian path.

    Her family have supported her decision to carve out a career in football, encouraging her to follow her dreams. Being brought up in a football mad family has certainly made these particular choices easier, with both her father and Grandfather loving the game just as much as she does.

    "Telling my Parents I wanted to play football and that I had joined the School team was really easy as they were fans of the game them. As kids they also use to play football, especially my dad who wanted to become a professional player. Since my first training session they have been extremely supportive and ensured I had everything I needed to be the best that I can be."

    So where did it all start for Sandeep?

    Scouted in 2010 by Queens Park Rangers and playing for their development squad, Sandeep made the decision to travel to America as part of a Scholarship programme playing for Lowa Western. After three and a half months out there she returned and played for Notts County development and trained with the first team for Watford Ladies. She has now moved to Tottenham Ladies where she feels she is really learning and developing as a player.

    "This is my first season at Tottenham Ladies and I am really enjoying playing here. They are a truly welcoming club  and treat you like family. I have had a good first half season and looking forward to the second half and moving up."

    Having the ability to play in a few positions on the field provides not just more opportunities for Sandeep but also for any club she plays for.

    "I am looking to play in the number ten position but I can also play in central midfield, left and right forward so I am quite versatile and provide a few attacking options for clubs."

    With so much talk surrounding the lack of British Asians in a top flight football league, Sandeep has high ambitions of where she sees herself in the next few years.

    "I am studying business management at University and will graduate in 2019 but the plan is to play football full time.  I want to continue developing myself so that I can push for a first team place at Spurs Ladies. I then want to go on and represent my Country. I am training 6 days a week along with my studies and various other things but my mindset is focused and determined."



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    REGIONAL NEWS: Yorkshire organisation set to document and celebrate history of Asians in cricket

    England cricketers Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid owe part of their success to early Asian migrants who played in local parks and set up teams and leagues over four decades ago. Now, a new project, ‘From Parks to Pavilions’ has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to document the history of Asian cricket in Yorkshire.

    The AYA Foundation, a community organisation specialising in promoting minority heritage, arts and culture, has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to work with young people from across West Yorkshire to record interviews and collect memorabilia from the founders of one of the oldest Asian led cricket leagues in Britain, the Bradford based Quaid-e Azam Sunday Cricket League.

    Mobeen Butt, Projects Director at the AYA Foundation said: “The Quaid-e Azam League has been running for nearly four decades. Players from these Asian cricket leagues are now being scouted by county cricket clubs and have even gone on to play for England. I believe the way Black and mixed-race players and audiences have changed the face of football, Asian players and supporters could go on to change the face of cricket – and when this happens the material that a project like this collects will be vital to help tell a wider story of cricket in Britain.”

    L-R: Nasser Hanif (Project Manager -FP2P), Taj Butt (Development Officer for Yorkshire Cricket Foundation), Mobeen Butt (Project Lead - FP2P) at Park Avenue Cricket Ground in Bradford.  [Image credit: AYA Foundation / Mobeen Butt]

    L-R: Nasser Hanif, Taj Butt, Mobeen Butt, at Park Avenue Cricket Ground in Bradford.
    [Image credit: AYA Foundation / Mobeen Butt]

    Thanks to National Lottery, players the project will work with over twenty young people and include trips to museums and archives, as well as, visits to Headingley and Lords. The project will produce a documentary and exhibit at this summer’s England versus Pakistan one day international at Headingley.

    Mr Butt added: “It’s very important that minority ethnic communities start writing their own history. Recording first-hand the voices of the pioneers and collecting primary source material is invaluable. We have already started losing some of our ‘founding-fathers’, those that arrived in the 1960s and 1970s. It is imperative that we empower the second, third and now fourth generations by giving them the resources and skills necessary to capture their own histories; before they are lost forever.

    He went on the say: “This project is important on so many levels and without the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund a project like this wouldn’t be possible. Young people will be taught how to conduct oral history interviews; how archives and museums work; how to produce documentaries;  how to develop exhibitions; how to conserve fragile objects; and hopefully one day in the not too distance future they will start to develop their own heritage projects.”

    Nasser Hanif, a BBC Radio journalist and Project Manager of the From Parks to Pavilions project, commented: “This project has been developed to coincide with this summer’s Pakistan tour of England. Older members of the Quaid-e Azam League say that it was when Pakistan toured England in the 70s that their passion for cricket was ignited and they would grab a bat and ball and start playing in the streets, alley ways and parks.

    “Asian men came to England to work in the 60s and 70s. They worked unsociable hours, did the night shifts and many worked six days a week. The only day they had off was Sundays, and as cricket was traditionally played during the week and Saturdays, the Asian cricketers didn’t get a chance to play with the established teams. Asian cricketers ended up playing in the streets, in car parks and play grounds. They started their own teams and competitions, and eventually their own Sunday leagues. The investment the Asian cricketing pioneers put in nearly four decades ago is now reaping rewards as theirs sons, nephews and grandchildren are now starting to break into the highest levels of English cricket.”

    Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, noted: “Yorkshire Cricket has a rich history and heritage and Asian cricket plays a major part in this. The Quaid-e Azam League is a very strong and well respected league, not just in Yorkshire, but nationally.  This project will be fantastic in documenting how the clubs and league have developed over the years as well as providing many people with fond memories.”

    Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “It’s important to record the rich history of our South Asian communities participating in one of our great national sports. Cricket is still close to the hearts of local people and is a significant factor in community cohesion. We’re pleased to see the Heritage Lottery Fund get behind this as we have an enormous passion for sport across the Yorkshire region and it is a great unifier.”

    Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “South Asian communities have contributed to cricket across the UK for many years, and we are delighted to fund this fascinating project looking back at the grassroots origins of so many successful players. We are particularly pleased to see young people getting the opportunity to explore an area of their community’s heritage with particular relevance to them”.

    Mr Hanif adds: ‘We are looking for enthusiastic and energetic young people, 14 to 24 year olds, from across West Yorkshire to help with the project. So please do come forward if you are a young person or know a young person that would benefit from taking part.’

    Anyone interested in finding out more should email or phone 07764 335 879.

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