A BRADFORD girls’ cricket team who will compete at Lords in September have set up their own academy to inspire younger girls to follow in their footsteps.

The girls’ cricket team at Carlton Bolling College were crowned Yorkshire champions in their first year together, and have just been crowned North of England champions.

Now the team are looking to pass on what they have learned to new generations of pupils at the school in Undercliffe.

The team was formed three years ago by school PE teacher Zaheer Jaffary, who helped the girls overcome social barriers in an area with a high proportion of Muslim families, where girls are not always encouraged to take part in sports.

In their first tournament the newly-formed team won seven out of seven matches against some of the best school sides in Yorkshire to be crowned county champions and they have not looked back.

They have now won three Yorkshire titles, and recently won four out of four matches in a regional competition, beating Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Northumberland sides, to emerge as North of England Champions. Their next stop will be Lord’s, the home of cricket, for the National Finals in September. Looking to pass their success on to younger generations at the school, the under 15s team host a weekly training session for younger pupils at the school who are trying the sport for the first time. Around 20 pupils are now learning to play each week.

One of the original team members, Zainab Goreja, said they had started an academy to ensure that girls’ cricket can continue to grow at the school. She said: “I definitely hope that the success of the team carries on because this is our legacy.

“We have started this academy, we have so many girls who are coming through and so many talents who are here. At the end of the day this is what we have started and when we leave next year we want this team to carry on. I hope the new players do well, carry on this legacy and hopefully it can keep on growing because we are going to change so many social barriers.”

Mr Jaffary said: “There has been some reluctance from families for their daughters to stay behind after school to play cricket. However we hope that our community can see what these girls have achieved together. What they have been able to bring to the team and what being a part of this team has done for them. It is brilliant that our girls’ cricket team are now carrying out coaching themselves at our academy. We want their success to inspire the younger pupils to follow their example. The future of the team relies upon the academy the girls have set up for future cricketers. The girls are extremely dedicated in sharing their story with others to help them see all that can be achieved through perseverance and dedication.”