The Lions Bag Awards Once Again.
TheBlindJournalist reports from Manchester.

On the evening of Saturday 17th October the Manchester Sports Awards 2015 took place. The ceremony was held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester.

Both the club and a handful of its members were up for awards. Club Secretary, Sheraz Chohan was shortlisted for the MCR Unsung Hero Award. Club Welfare Officer, Amanda Large was shortlisted for the MCR Changing Lifestyle Award and Club Treasurer Ben Tanner was representing the club and school where the Lions are based for the MCR Education and Sport Award. Kieran Kelly and Abu-bakr Ishtiaq also attended on behalf of the club.

Sheraz, who is the founder of the club has been working tirelessly since the club’s inception in 2011. He has also captained the cricket club to many successes and landmarks. Sheraz has also been a key player for the Lions National and Cup squad. He is a role model for many and is recognised internationally for his hard work. It cannot be said how much work Sheraz has put into the club but his efforts are evident by looking at the rapid progress and successes of the Lancashire Lions.

Sheraz’s work was recognised and he won the MCR Unsung Hero 2015 Award. Congratulations to Sheraz on behalf of the club and committee. He was very deserving of the award.

Dr. Amanda Large had also been shortlisted for an award. Amanda only joined the club this year but she got stuck in straight away and joined the committee of the Lions as their Welfare Officer as well as being an integral player for the cricket club. Amanda used her skills and expertise from being a former General Practitioner (GP) to benefit the club as she helped with coaching for several blind cricket taster sessions. After being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa Amanda had to leave her job but dedicated her time to blind sports and was one of the first ladies to play for and join the England International Women’s Team. Amanda is surely an inspiration to many and being shortlisted for the Changing Lifestyle Award is evidence of this. Congratulations to Amanda on behalf of the club and committee. A bright future awaits Amanda for sure.

Ben Tanner, who is the Sports Centre Manager of Our Ladies RC High School, which is the home ground and base for the Lions, was also up for the Education and Sport Award. Ben also became the Club Treasurer of the Lancashire Lions this year and has given up many hours of his own time during weekdays and weekends to help the club on a voluntary basis. He has also volunteered on many occasions to drive the cricket team across the country. Congratulations to Ben on behalf of the club and committee as he was successful in winning the award.

On behalf of the committee and club we would also like to give a massive shout out and congratulations to Our Ladies RC High School and Ben Tanner for their successes and support throughout this past year and cricketing season.

– 100% Record North and East League for 3 Seasons since North and  East League had started.
– 2013 Brian Johnson Memorial Trust Weekend held in Leicester annually,  Lancashire Lions claiming 7 out of 7 Wins against 7 teams which comprised of 4 southern and 4 Northern teams.- Club stepped up in 2013 to National League.
– First ever win in National League LLVICC Vs Hampshire, by 10 wickets.
– Club committee visit Bulgaria in 2013 for a potential Blind Cricket tournament to be held in Manchester; Committee members Sheraz Chohan, Amjad Khan, Ben Tanner and Ian Leather.
– Built a relationship with Bulgaria team and coach Saif Rehman and all agreed to name the long term tournament the United European Vision cup.

Personal achievements:

-2012 Manchester sports awards- disability sports achiever 3rd place- Sheraz Chohan
-2013 ‘Change of Lifestyle’ award for Ralph Aldred
-2014 Oldham sports awards- Disabled sports achiever for Arslan Sabir
-2014 Ralph Aldred- Held the Queens Baton Relay on the BBC on behalf of Lancashire Lions
-2015 Sheraz Chohan MCR Unsung Hero 2015 Award.
-2015 Ben Tanner – Education and Sport Award.

2013 – Presentation awards evening in Manchester Town Hall in the Lord Mayor’s Suite

-Russell Brown- Best Batsman LLVICC in 2013
-Tahseen Sabir- Best Fielder in 2013
-Arslan Sabir- Best All Rounder in 2013
-Amjad Khan- Best Total Blind player in 2013
-Sheraz Chohan- Best Bowler in 2013
-Abu-Bakr Ishtiaq- Most Improved Player in 2013
-George Ferguson- Best Newcomer in 2013
-Usman Afridi- Best Junior Newcomer of The Season 2013/ BJM trust Player of The Tournament 2013
-Rashid Khan- Performance of the season in 2013

-Sheraz Chohan – Player of the series vs Bulgaria in 2014
-United European vision cup winners cup and medals handed by the Lord Mayor of Manchester
-Ben Tanner certificate handed by the Bulgarian coach Saif Rehman in 2014
–Ben Tanner Manchester sports award 2014
-Junior roses match- East Lancashire Schools (the junior Lancashire Lions) play the junior Yorkshire team at Headingly at the home of Yorkshire cricket, the first junior V.I. match of its kind.

– Landmarks:
Russell Brown the first player to make a century for the club in 2013, finished off with two centuries in 2013.
Shah Miah second player to make two centuries in 2014.
Tahseen Sabir to make his first century in 2014.

– Club achievements:

LLVICC featuring on bbc news East Midlands 2013
Featuring on the National Lottery with a team photo shoot due to a successful Sports England bid – 2013

2014 – on Sky Sports displaying Blind Cricket at Wolverhampton CC alongside England player Samit Patel
2014 – Yorkshire, Lancashire derby game at the interval break Lancashire VI and Yorkshire VI team battled out on the Emirates pitch in front of a crowd of 6000-7000
Then soon after on 8th August 2014 on the second day of England vs India test match Lancashire and Bulgaria displayed their skills in the interval in front of a crowd close to 25,000 on the Emirates pitch