Being good at both bat and ball, Jasmin found relief when she was growing up in the UK

Jasmin Akhter, a Rohingya refugee born in Bangladesh, has been included in the list of BBC’s “100 Inspiring and Influential Women 2019”.

She has been selected in the sport category because of her excellence in sports.

Jasmin was born in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Ten years ago, when Jasmin was 8, her family was resettled to the United Kingdom under the Gateway Resettlement Programme of the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Even after the resettlement, Jasmin faced trouble when her mother injured herself in a road accident, leaving Jasmin as her only care-giver.

Photo: Collected

It is when in those troubled moments, Jasmin found her love for cricket.

“I was in a deep depression after mum’s car accident, I used to isolate myself and never really talk to anyone at school or at home,” she told the UNHCR.

“One day a friend took me to an after-school club, where one of the coaches suggested I join the cricket team. Within just a few months, I’d been made captain and was heading for trials for the Yorkshire team,” she added.

Photo: Collected

Being good at both bat and ball, Jasmin found relief when she was growing up in the UK. Later, with her friends she started an all-Asian girls’ cricket team in Bradford.

Jasmin was chosen as the captain of the England team in the Street Child World Cup through Centrepoint, an NGO working against youth homelessness in the UK. Staff from the charity met Jasmin at a local community centre in Bradford, where she was coaching young children, and asked her to join the team.

Street Child United is a UK charity using the power of sport, specifically international sports events, to change the negative perceptions and treatment of street-connected children everywhere. Its global headquarter is in London.

Photo: Collected

“When I first started playing at school there was some prejudice and criticism about me playing cricket as a girl,” Jasmin added.

“But I’m very proud that the Rohingya community are supporting me and encouraging me on.”

Back home, with the competition over, Jasmin is studying business at Bradford College with the aim of a degree in accountancy at university afterwards.

But it is sport that is the real passion in her life, and where she sees her future. “Sport is something that I feel I’m born to do. It’s something that I’m really confident in and shows who I am,” Jasmin concluded.

Source: The Business Standard