A YOUNG Southampton cricket leader has been honoured with two awards for her services to the sport.

Sara Yasin, 17, from Bitterne Park, was presented with the game changer award and also Hampshire Cricket's young coach of the year prize by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

She has been recognised for her work in the community as she helps to drive engagement and participation in cricket, both nationally and locally.

Yasin initially got into the sport through the Wicketz programme in Southampton, which is a year-round set of weekly cricket sessions run by coaches that help with learning the game.

The 17 year old said: “Wicketz gives me opportunities and role models that I would not have had otherwise. I have met lots of people and made friends I would not have made.

"Having that across the country builds a nice network of people who like cricket and we do things together, improve together and hopefully reach our dreams and goals.

“It has been incredible to be recognised for my achievements. I’m very grateful to the Wicketz programme for supporting me to develop as an individual.

"My award inspires me to continue to work hard in helping provide young people with opportunities in sport.”

Yasin is now aiming to pave the way for other young girls and members of the Muslim community to take up cricket.

The impressive double award winner also coaches, officiates and scores matches, while also finding time to study at Peter Symonds College and play the game herself.

Sam Moss, who is the urban cricket development manager at the Ageas Bowl, paid tribute to what Yasin has been able to achieve.

He added: "From a young girl who could have been lost to the game at 15, to now driving women and girls cricket nationally, she is a credit to the Southampton Wicketz programme.

“Her involvement in Wicketz and cricket as a young Muslim woman makes her journey even more impressive.

"She is not only progressing women and girls cricket locally and nationally but is breaking down cultural barriers for women from faith groups to participate in sports in their local community.

"Recently, 38 women and girls, many from South Asian heritage took part in a Wicketz community engagement event in Southampton.

"This success wouldn’t have been achieved without Sara leading the way.”