A second year student at Huddersfield New College has achieved the fantastic accolade of being name Emerging Player of the Year by Yorkshire Country Cricket Club.

Benji, who is currently in his second year studying BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching, has been playing cricket for the Club’s Academy since gaining a scholarship last year and was offered a formal contract with the club at the end of the season. He has been playing the sport for 9 years, after being inspired by his dad and his older brother, who is also a cricketer.

Benji’s rigorous training schedule includes 3-4 train sessions each week at Leeds’ Headingley Stadium, in addition to training in the gym 2-3 days per week. This hard work and dedication has paid off, seeing him make his second team debut as well as captaining the North of England team throughout 2016.

“I’m really proud of myself and my achievements,” said Benji. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do in order to get to where I want to be, but this award shows that all of my hard work so far is paying off. It has inspired me to go even further!”

Huddersfield New College provides Benji with support through its Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS), ensuring that he is able to take the required time off to pursue his passion for Cricket. He is then guided through his studies to make sure that he catches up on any missed work. Such support allows Benji to travel around the world following his dream, enjoying experiences such as a three week trip to South Africa in 2016.

“The support I receive from the college as part of TASS is fantastic,” Benji commented. “It allows me to pursue my goals of making it professional without jeopardising my education.”

When asked about his hopes for the future, Benji said, “I’m hoping to one day become professional-I’d love to play for Yorkshire and England. I’m also interested in coaching disabled children in sport.”