How ECB and Sky's Dynamos campaign inspired mother of two


Safina Aziz on the impact of the Dynamos campaign: “I love the fact I was a role model for my daughter, she watched me play cricket and could see how much I enjoyed it and has now acquired the same love for the game”

Last Updated: 23/02/22 3:10pm

Safina Aziz's daughter Inaaya takes part in the Sky Dynamos Intros session at Lord's

Safina Aziz’s daughter Inaaya takes part in the Sky Dynamos Intros session at Lord’s

We hear from mother of two and member of Bradford Park Avenue Ladies cricket club, Safina Aziz, about the impact the All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket programmes have had on her daughter Inaaya, who suffers from a hidden disability.

I have two children, twins Inaaya and Faaris, nine. Inaaya suffers from a rare genetic condition and has spent a considerable length of time in and out of hospital. After a few years of tests and procedures, we finally had a diagnosis – she suffers from Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

There was a time when Inaaya was required to have blood transfusions every four weeks. She often asks why she must go to hospital and her twin brother, cousins or friends don’t have to. The process is very stressful and understandably she is very anxious during these visits.

Cricket has been a welcome distraction in our household during these challenging times. Inaaya has joined us at the family fun days and has been there to cheer me on when taking part in softball tournaments with Bradford Park Avenue Ladies. It’s such good fun, everyone’s very supportive and encouraging – it’s a positive environment that I’m grateful to be part of.

Inaaya began to show an interest in cricket aged six, and so when I saw that All Stars Cricket sessions were being run locally, I signed her up along with her two cousins.

I’ve always been interested in the sport and enjoyed the social aspect of being involved with a club so I decided to also volunteer as an activator and support some of the sessions, while also meeting new women from a variety of backgrounds and ages in the process.

When Inaaya was old enough to take part in Dynamos, she was really excited as she felt she was ready to progress her cricket skills and the countdown cricket format of the programme feels like playing ‘real cricket’. She also loves the social aspect, has made new friends along the way, and gets the chance to spend quality time with her cousins.

Being part of the participation programmes has had a very positive impact on Inaaya and our family; I’ve seen a huge change in her confidence. Taking part in the sessions, Inaaya feels like she’s doing something ‘normal’ that other children are doing. Inaaya says that when she’s playing cricket, she forgets about being unwell and it makes her feel good.

During Children’s Mental Health Week in 2020, her school had a ‘Dress to Express Yourself’ day and Inaaya chose to wear her All Stars Cricket shirt. She said that it was important to her and is something she enjoys. This was so heartwarming to see and it’s clear the positive impact it has had on her mental health and wellbeing.

The highlight for Inaaya was taking part in the Dynamos Cricket Intros session at Lord’s during The Hundred last summer. She was interviewed live on TV and was beaming from ear to ear.

I love the fact that I was a role model for my daughter – she watched me play cricket, could see how much I enjoyed it and has now acquired the same love for the game. I feel like this is a special bond we have and when we go to training it is our mummy-daughter time.

Dynamos Cricket

Dynamos Cricket is here for the summer! New skills, teamwork and friendships for all 8-11 year-olds.

Complementing junior cricket, Dynamos provides children with a more social offering focused on developing fundamental movement skills and applying them in an exciting game of Countdown Cricket.

We know how important it is to look like the heroes of the game, so every child who registers will receive their very own Dynamos Cricket New Balance t-shirt, personalised with their name and number. In addition, all participants will receive exclusive access to the Dynamos Cricket app and receive a pack of Topps Cricket Attax cards at the end of every session.

Sign up today at a Dynamos Cricket centre near you!

To register for All Stars Cricket or Dynamos Cricket, click here. ECB and Sky Sports have teamed up to provide free Dynamos cricket courses for schools and community centres in underprivileged areas through the Dynamos Cricket Intros programme. For more information about the programme, click here.


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