AN INSPIRATIONAL young cricketer has fought against adversity to make waves in the sporting world.
Bradford College student Jasmin Akter, 18, has been named Everything in Sport's Unsung Heroine in Women's Sport 2019 - just weeks after appearing on the BBC 100 Women 2019 list of inspiring and influential women.
The award, for individuals behind the scenes who may not always get the praise they deserve, is the latest in Jasmin’s long list of achievements. Earlier this year, she represented England in the Street Child Cricket World Cup and was selected alongside fellow Bradford College student Sabeha Salam for Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s girls’ team.
Her story is made all the more incredible because of the journey she has been on. A Rohingya refugee, Jasmin was born in a camp in Bangladesh shortly after her father passed away.
For almost a decade, she lived in what she has described as “destitute poverty".
Her family came to the UK when Jasmin was eight years old through the Gateway Resettlement programme, operated by the UN in partnership with the UK government.
In 2014, while visiting Bangladesh, Jasmin, her brother and her mother were involved in a car accident that left Jasmin’s mother paraplegic.
While still in full-time education, Jasmin became one of her mother’s carers.
A talented footballer, who has also played for Bradford City FC, Jasmin’s sporting promise was noticed at a young age and she was recommended to apply for a sporting scholarship in America. However, she decided to put her energy into caring for her mother, as well as studying for her Level 3 Business Diploma at Bradford College.
Despite her decision not to embark on the scholarship, Yasmin has developed her talents at the college.
She has just returned from Miami where she was acting as a Young Leader for Street Child United, which uses the power of sport - especially international sporting events - to change the perception of street-connected children all over the world.
Dawn Leak, Vice Principal at Bradford College, said: “We are extremely proud of Jasmin.
"She is a young woman who has broken down barriers and has shown people what can be achieved with talent, support and determination to succeed."