Tag Archives: Kirklees

Heckmondwike set to join new league in 2016

Heckmondwike and Carlinghow’s application to join the Central Yorkshire Cricket League (CYCL) has been accepted.

The club will leave the Huddersfield Central Cricket League (HCCL) after the close of 2015 season, and are set to join the CYCL for the start of the 2016 season.

They are set to follow local competitors Crossbank Methodists, who left the HCCL after the close of the 2014 season, and have now joined the CYCL for the upcoming season.

Before the start of the season, Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Dewsbury born Richard Pyrah will open Crossbank’s new clubhouse on April 3, after a substantial extension and improvement has been applied over the last year.

HARD WORK: Heckmondwike players after renovating the scoreboard last season.

HARD WORK: Heckmondwike players after renovating the scoreboard last season.

Cricket seems to be thriving around the local area both on and off the pitch, and Heckmondwike and Crossbank could potentially be a fixture to look out for in the 2016 season.

Peter Arundel, Secretary of the CYCL, is pleased to welcome back Heckmondwike to the league.

He added: “I believe that the league recognised the recent playing ability of the club and the potential to develop this ability further moving forward.

“It is also immensely satisfying to welcome back a name that is synonymous with cricket in the area.

“They were founder members of the CYCL and were a genuine powerhouse club for most of their time in the league until circumstances overtook the club and they sadly dropped out.

“The facilities on offer were for many years amongst the best in league cricket and so it is impressive and to the enormous credit of all now involved at Heckmondwike that those facilities have been returned to their former glories.

“The club appears to be stable, well organised and needs to play at a higher level to progress and attract additional players who will assist in growth and development of both the club and its structure.

Chris Allen, Heckmondwike’s first-team captain, is looking forward to the next chapter in the club’s history.

He added: “For the team and the club as a whole, joining the CYCL will be a massive and timely move.

“It is a really good league which will present various challenges along the way, with some excellent teams and quality players, but you always want to test yourselves as individuals and as a team against the best.

IN ACTION: Chris Allen batting in a warm-up game

IN ACTION: Chris Allen batting in a warm-up game last season, with Paul Cooper bowling.

“I feel that we have enough quality to go into the league and compete with each team no matter what division we start in, in order to create more history that already dates back 123 years.”

“We are determined as a team to sign off from the HCCL by coming away with the league trophy, and to win both the league and cup would be outstanding.”

Heckmondwike’s title challenges begins Saturday April 18 for both their first and second teams, with the first team away to Netherton A and the second team at home to Netherton B.

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Local duo settling in to life at the Rams

Two young cousins are currently benefiting from the Dewsbury Rams philosophy of trying to bring through local players.

Brad and James Delaney both played their amateur rugby at Dewsbury Moor, before recently signing one-year deals for the professional rugby league side in January 2015.

Their surnames may sound familiar as Brad is the son of former Rams and Leeds Rhinos half-back Paul Delaney, who played 39 first team games for Leeds and made over 300 appearances for Dewsbury, all between 1985 and 2002.

Paul said: “I am very proud of them both as they have the ability to do well and have worked incredibly hard, so they deserve a shot in the professional ranks.

“Hard work and determination goes a long way, so hopefully they will get a chance at the Rams.

“How far they can go is up to them, they have got their foot on the ladder but now they need to work out what is required to become a first teamer.”

Paul also said he has many great memories at the club, and still goes to watch the Rams on a regular basis, claiming that the spectators are second to none and always give him a fantastic reception.

Left: Brad Delaney as a Dewsbury Rams player, Right: Brad with his dad Paul back when he played. Image courtesy of pitchero.com

Left: Brad Delaney as a Dewsbury Rams player, Right: Brad with his dad Paul back when he played. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.

Brad, 19, who plays scrum-half, feels he is settling in great at the Rams, and added: “All the players and staff have made me feel welcome and there is always a great vibe around the place.

“I’m gaining a lot of valuable experience in training and in matches, as most of the time we all train together so I can learn a lot from  the more experienced players, and the coaching staff are always helping me in ways to improve.

“I am enjoying playing for the club my dad used to play for and I feel proud as he is well known throughout the club.”

The goal-kicking scrum-half went on to praise his father, who he says has played a massive part in the success in his career so far.

“My dad has been a massive factor and helped me most throughout my career, ever since I can remember we used to train in the gardens, he’s shown me how to pass, kick, side step and tackle.”

James Delaney as a Dewsbury. Image courtesy of pitchero.com.

James Delaney as a Dewsbury Ram player. Image courtesy of Steven Horsfall Photography.

Meanwhile James, a 23 year-old forward, realises that while he has earned a contract, there is still work to be done.

He added: “The games after have been relatively positive for me with the feed I have received, but there is still plenty of things I can improve on.

“It’s a great feeling playing alongside Brad, he’s a very talented player and the fact that he’s my cousin makes it that little bit more special.”

He looked back at when he watched the Rams as a youngster, and said: “I remember watching my uncle Paul playing as a young boy and wishing that one day I could be in his shoes, and now I feel as though I am heading in the right direction so hopefully one day I can make that dream.”

Extra funding for Stronger Families Programme in Kirklees

Additional funding has been received from the government for a scheme that supports families with complex needs in Kirklees.

The Kirklees Council’s Stronger Families Programme is set to significantly improve from this funding, as more families will be able to benefit by expanding the scheme.

This means an increasing number of families in the North Kirklees area are set to directly benefit from the extra funding by receiving help on a more consistent basis.

The programme uses the Troubled Families Government Grant to increase the amount of support throughout Kirklees for vulnerable families, and test out new and unique ways to working with families with a variety of needs.

The main aims are to help families where children have a poor school attendance, are involved with crime and anti-social behaviour, or where adults are out of work.

Over 1100 families have received support directly from the scheme across Kirklees, and almost 80% have shown improved school attendance, and have recored no anti-social behaviour in the past six months.

The programme has also placed consultants in partner agencies including the drug and alcohol charity ‘Lifeline’.

These people work together to bring in a plan of action for each family based on their individual expertise, to ensure that the family receives the required support .

This joint approach means that various families will receive sufficient help earlier and continue to receive support until their situation improves.

Following the recent success in results, the government have asked the Council to become an early starter working with the expanded Troubled Families Programme, starting five months ahead of schedule, meaning an increasingly wider range of families get the required help at an earlier stage.

Clare Mulgan, Head of the Stronger Families Programme, said: “88% of families (977 out of 1115) have received a successful turnaround, and the success of this programme to date is thanks to the quality of the intervention workers.

“The family approach to their work with their most vulnerable clients is proving to be a benefit for the partner agencies.

“Thanks to the fantastic performance in the Kirklees area, joining the extended Troubled Families Programme means that almost 200 families will be worked with over the coming weeks.

“The extra funding means we can be confident that the support received means the programme will around for the foreseeable future.”

Youngster Cooper continues pre-season progress against hometown club

As the start of the 2015 rugby league season approaches, players are looking to impress their coaches and stake a claim for a place in the first team.

This applies to Luke Cooper, 20, of Featherstone Rovers, who was recently awarded a place in the first team squad for the warm up games against Castleford Tigers and Batley Bulldogs.

Unfortunately for Cooper, he was on the losing side in both games, as Rovers lost 18-0 to the Tigers, and 26-6 against the Bulldogs.

Luke Cooper in action against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday.

Featherstone’s Luke Cooper in action against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday.

Despite the result, The Bulldogs game was a major highlight in his career, as Batley are his hometown club.

He said: “It was probably the greatest moment of my life to date, to run out on the field in front of over 1000 spectators was such an electrifying experience.

“It was different to anything I’d played in before, I felt like I had to play well in front of all my family and friends, and make them proud.

“If I’m honest I never thought I would be playing because Featherstone are a great team with so many good forwards, so to get my name on the team sheet was a fantastic feeling and it was made that extra bit sweeter that it was against a team that I had watched and supported as a child.”

The young forward looked back at his performance at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium, and added: “I’m super critical of my performance so personally I didn’t think I played the best I could have, and I know I have a lot to learn so hopefully I can do as much training as possible, work hard, and get to that required consistent level of performance.”

In 2014, Rovers sent Cooper and another teammate over to Australia in an exciting six-month trip, with the aim for them to gain valuable experience playing at a higher level in the Sydney Group 6 Country League.

This life-changing opportunity provided Cooper with the chance to develop his skills on the pitch, and experience a different culture and lifestyle.

“We received plenty of game time in Australia and have learnt a lot, the whole experience was unforgettable and I am thankful to the club that I was offered this unbelievable opportunity.”

He is now looking to establish himself as first team player for Featherstone Rovers, and play a part in helping the club challenge for a place in the Super League.

Results of pupils in Kirklees on the rise again

Following recent SATs, achievement from pupils across Kirklees primary schools has improved once again over the last year.

The percentage of Kirklees pupils gaining the national benchmark of at least a level 4 in their reading, writing and mathematics, was 78 per cent, a slight increase from 74% in 2013.

The local Key Stage 2 figures (ages 7 to11), released by the Department for Education, means that more than 4,000 Kirklees pupils gained the key national benchmark.

Across North Kirklees in 2013 and 2014, the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in their reading, writing, and mathematics in various schools, were:

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 21.59.14

chart

Head teacher Anthony Rush, of St Patricks Catholic Primary School, Birstall, said he is always delighted when every child achieves their full potential at the school.

He added: “Results may fluctuate from year to year but the defining guide to whether or not they are a good set of results is have all the children reached their potential i.e. have they all done as well as they could have.

“Academic success is only a small measure of what we do, and we are in a business of helping to mound children into becoming good people.”

The head teacher said the high attainment level could be attributed to the high quality teaching and support to every year group in the school.

“The children are well taught, the teaching assistant support is excellent, and underlying everything is a shared aim amongst all staff that we strive to do the best we can for every child.

“We try to make school a safe and welcoming place where the children thrive knowing that they are loved and wanted,” he added.

The improvement in Key Stage 2 results are supported by new figures from Ofsted, that now show young people in Kirklees are increasingly likely to attend at least a good if not outstanding secondary school in the region.

New plans for Spenborough Sports Complex

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex is set to benefit from plans for a new extension, it has been revealed.

The new-build leisure centre is set to replace the existing Sports Centre facilities at Whitcliffe Mount, Cleckheaton, which will be closing towards the end of 2016.

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex how it currently looks. Image courtesy of the Spenborough Guardian.

Spenborough Pool and Fitness Complex how it currently looks. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

With Whitcliffe Mount School being knocked down, this means the sports centre at Whitcliffe must close as both buildings are situated next to each other, sharing plumbing and electricity.

Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre to be knocked down. Image courtesy of The Spenborough Guardian.

The controversial decision to close the Whitcliffe Mount site was made just before Christmas last year, and local residents were concerned the closure would deprive over 50,000 people in the area of access to a local sports centre.

With the support of Sport England, it is hoped the modular build units for studio and fitness will be in place before the closure of Whitcliffe Mount.

The current Spenborough swimming pool. Image courtesy of Kirklees Active Leisure.

The current Spenborough swimming pool.
Image courtesy of Kirklees Active Leisure.

Jo Cox, prospective parliamentary candidate for Batley and Spen, feels strongly against the closure of the Whitcliffe centre.

She helped convene two meetings at the centre to allow Cleckheaton residents and users to express their concerns and understand the decisions being taken.

“Many residents and users have grown up using the centre and remain reliant on these facilities not just for their physical and mental health but for a social life.

“At the meetings we heard very moving testimonies for people whom sport at the centre has been a lifeline, and these people deserved the right to express their views before a final decision was taken.”

The Labour candidate recognised that the decision had been forced on the council, and appreciated their efforts to try invest in sports provisions across the Spen Valley.

“The council have my full support in their efforts to find the resources needed to invest in the Spenborough pool – the pool I learnt to swim in and which so many schools, families and residents rely on.

“Even in the constrained financial times forced upon Kirklees Council by central Government we must protect this much loved facility for future generations.”

Looking at what is provided in various other establishments, the council are set to view the provision as a whole, analysing ways in which they can cover what the new centre does not.

Dewsbury and Batley Christmas light switch-ons 2014

Last night saw the town of Dewsbury celebrate the start of the festive season in style at the Christmas lights switch-on.

Pulse Radio in preparation to host the switch-on.

Pulse Radio in preparation to host the switch-on.

Emmerdale star Adam Thomas, who plays Adam Barton in the ITV soap, flicked the switch to light up the town and officially start the countdown to Christmas.

Pulse Radio’s Paul Foster joined the actor live on stage, and helped spread the festive cheer in the crowd throughout the evening.

The crowd were entertained with on stage performances from the Pulse Dance Crew, Powerhooping from the HD Hoopers, and local act Jade Helliwell showcased her musical talents.

“The experience was great, and I was very humble to be asked to perform at the event,” Helliwell said.

“The atmosphere was fantastic, the crowd were brilliant and they sang along regardless of the cold weather,” she added.

Surrounding the stage were plenty of family activities, thoroughly enjoyed by all, including:

  • A giant snow globe
  • Fairground rides
  • Festive donkey rides
  • Face painting
  • A fire sculpture by pa-BOOM
  • And of course, it would not be Christmas without Santa’s Grotto

A tweet from Jade before her performance yesterday:

Dewsbury Ram mascot Roger Ram and Huddersfield Town mascot Terry the Terrier were also present at the event, posing for pictures and interacting with the local crowd.

Batley Christmas lights switch-on 22 November

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For Batley, the countdown to Christmas begins this Saturday with the Christmas light switch-on.

Once again, Pulse Radio’s Paul Foster will be on stage, accompanied by a number of special guests to press that all-important switch-on button to illuminate the town.

The fun and entertainment will begin for youngsters in the market place at 1pm, with fairground rides, face painting, festive donkey rides, and a giant snow globe. 

There will be fun for all the family from 2pm with music, Christmas games, live performances from the Pulse Radio roadshow, and as they did in Dewsbury on Wednesday, pa-BOOM will be showcasing their stunning fire sculpture.

Later in the evening, another headline performance from Jade Helliwell at 5:30pm will lead to the eagerly anticipated lights switch on at 6pm, and will finish with a spectacular firework finale.

“I’m grateful to be asked to attend the Batley event, especially as I have been asked to assist with the switch-on,” Helliwell said.

“I’m from Batley, so to be representing my home town in a community event feels amazing, and it is always a privilege and honour to perform here.

“It is brilliant that my work is being recognised and becoming more and more popular with people around the area.”

Towards the close of the event, the Kirklees Mayor Cllr, Ken Smith, the Mayoress Cllr Christine Smith, MP Mike Wood, Revd Dr Martin Naylor and Santa Clause will all be on stage for the switch on.