A lasting legacy has been launched in honour of the late MP for Batley, Jo Cox, who was murdered in June, in the form of the Jo Cox MP International Memorial Award.
The award will be presented to the winners of this month’s inaugural Girls Rugby League tournament in Pakistan, organised by the pioneering Islamabad Rugby Club while, in October 2017, the tournament will coincide with a visit by 15 girls from Kirklees, Bradford and Leeds.
Former England international Ikram Butt, who is also the founder of the British Asian Rugby Association, said: “These girls will be trained to go into primary and secondary schools here in the UK, to coach sport activities and classroom-based sessions, sharing and promoting the values and vision of Jo Cox MP.
“On the strength of that training the girls will visit schools in Pakistan in 12 months’ time.”
Butt is currently with a delegation in Pakistan and said before his departure: “During our week-long visit we will meet Pakistani government officials in Islamabad and Azad Kashmir, officials at the British Embassy, the Director General of the Pakistan Sports Board and head teachers from various schools.
“On the first Sunday of our visit we will present the Jo Cox MP Memorial Award to the winners of the first Girl’s Rugby Tournament at Islamabad.”
He added: “The collaboration of partners is already working towards creating an educational resource pack to be used in the schools which we hope will be embraced by our global leaders and delivered in schools on a global scale.
“Schools that sign up and fulfil the requirements will be presented with the Jo Cox MP International Memorial Award.”
Ikram will be joined by Oasis Lister Academy Headteacher Ian Simpson, and Craig Taylor of Batley Bulldogs, in identifying the 15 girls who will make the trip; the girls will be mentored by a collaboration of partners including the Chief Superintendent of West Yorkshire Police Mabs Hussain, Major Marr (Head of Engagement, British Army, Yorkshire & Humber) and Chris Green (founder of the White Ribbon Campaign which campaigns against violence against women and girls) amongst others.