The inaugural Connecting Communities Festival has been hailed as a ‘resounding success’.
Taking place at Leicestershire CCC’s UptonSteel County Ground, the event saw plenty of stalls and activities for fans, as well as a cricket match between two teams made up of local figures and personalities.
The event was organised by the High Sheriff of Leicestershire Mehmooda Duke, and more than £16,000 was successfully raised for local charities.
“The event has been a resounding success for sure,” Duke told Leicester Times. “We have had lots of positive feedback, and it’s been great to have people from different communities get together and get involved. We’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s been a lot of fun for some great causes.”
Money raised will be given to the Leicestershire CCC Foundation, which supports two children’s charities – Alex’s Wish and Healing Little Hearts – as well as grassroots cricket in Leicestershire and the club’s academy.
“We’ve had an evening of sunshine, friendships, fun and laughter, but also that sense of building community,” said Bishop Saju Muthalaly, captain of the Sheriff’s Foxes team for the event. “Our world desperately needs peace, and one way of doing that is by playing cricket. Sport has that fantastic way of bringing people from disparate parts of life together. That’s one of the great gifts of sport, and cricket in particular.”
“We’ve got individuals in our team who are really excited to be here,” said Nirav Bhatt, captain of the Leicestershire Blades team on the day. “They are thrilled to be part of this inclusion.”
Duke is keen for the event to become an annual date in the calendar.
“Leicestershire CCC has been very supportive throughout the organisation of the Connecting Communities Festival, and we are planning to host the event on a weekend next year to help even more people attend.”