Children aren’t stumped by lockdown at Victoria Park cricket festival
- Credit: Aminur Rahman
Children from all over east London are taking part in an eight-week sports festival at Victoria Park to keep active after months of lockdown — but socially distanced from each other to stay Covid safe.
The festival is being run by the London Sportif club, which is hosting activities with the All Star and Dynamos cricket teams.
Some 25 youngsters under 11 took part, who were even joined by the speaker of Tower Hamlets Council, Cllr Mohammed Ahbab Hossain, trying his hand at batting leather against willow.
Parents set up the London Sportif club in 2017 for youngsters from Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney and Newham.
“We get all our children involved,” one of the club’s directors Muhi Mikdad
said. “We want to make sure they make friends and stay active after months of lockdown and get them out in the open every week.”
The father-of-two from Stepney Green spends his spare time arranging cricket, football and badminton sessions when he is not at his day job — giving Covid jabs to fight the pandemic.
Muhi, who is 30, is a trained St John Ambulance paramedic who has been doing Covid-19 inoculations at the ExCeL Centre and is now running jab sessions at the London Stadium in Stratford. He administers 80 vaccines a day.
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His two-year-old son already loves cricket, but is too young to join his dad’s club just yet — so too is his baby daughter born just seven weeks ago.
The man behind the Victoria Park festival is the club’s badminton and cricket coach at Newham Leisure Centre, father-of-three Ataikur Rahman, 42, who always brings his children along to keep them on the ball.
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The London Sportif club set up at Bromley-by-Bow now has more than 200 members across east London, takes part in the FA Cup and Inner London Football League, has five cricket teams playing in Middlesex County Cricket League and plays badminton with Badminton England.
Cricket is every Tuesday and Sunday at Victoria Park, with one team playing in the Middlesex league in Regent’s Park on Saturdays.
Football is at Hackney Marshes every Sunday in the summer and at Mile End stadium in winter.
Badminton is at the Newham Leisure Centre and SportsDock in Beckton for children five to 12 and adults over 18.
The club is appealing for new members - sign up online or call 07904 113087.