Tuesday 6 January 2009 

Leeds Met Is Emirates Airline Pro ARCH Trophy Partner

Leeds Metropolitan University will continue its support of the ARCH Trophy as the tournament’s education partner in 2009.

In its second year, the tournament will welcome six high profile English County sides to the UAE from March 17 – 25, competing in English cricket's premier pre-season event.

Last year’s inaugural Pro ARCH Trophy winners Yorkshire Carnegie, Nat West Pro 40 winners Sussex, Friends Provident winners Essex, Twenty 20 champions Middlesex, Surrey and Lancashire will be joined by the UAE national side and a Fly Emirates XI for the trophy.

Click here for interviews from the launch day with tournament director Matthew Jackson, as well as James Kirtley and Jason Gallian.

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Leeds Met has long been associated with sporting success and partnerships, celebrating a century of sporting achievements in 2007, and is recognised for the facilities and opportunities in sport within Leeds Met Carnegie.

Leeds Met has engaged in a unique and pioneering partnership with Leeds Rugby and Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC), with its base in the Carnegie Stand, at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The partnership between Leeds Met and YCCC is the first of its kind between a university and a professional sports club in the UK.

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Michael Gray, Director of the Headingley Carnegie Partnership, welcomed the continued association stating, “Cricket has international appeal and Yorkshire Carnegie’s involvement and victory last year in the Pro ARCH tournament has led to new connections in the United Arab Emirates. Our sporting partnerships provide many benefits to the University, including student recruitment and engagement.”

Susan Isherwood, International Projects Manager at Leeds Met, commented on the University’s activities in the Middle East: “Leeds Met is a university with world-wide horizons with an international, multi-cultural ethos. We have many links and welcome increasing numbers of students from the Emirates and the Middle East generally. We are looking forward to a bigger and even better cricket tournament in 2009, with more engagement between the University, partners Yorkshire Carnegie, former students and international schools and colleges particularly in Abu Dhabi.”

Organised by Sport Arabia Ltd, the event was introduced by former England cricketer James Kirtley who said, “Sport Arabia is delighted to appoint Leeds Met as education partner to the 2009 tournament, especially as one of the key features of the ARCH concept is the sporting legacy left behind each year in the UAE. This link with Leeds Met will ensure that this legacy is at the forefront of our future strategy.”

Tournament Director, Matthew Jackson, commented on Sport Arabia’s unique position in the UAE market place: “We are pleased to be returning to the UAE for what will be our second year of this event and we are especially happy that we now have two local sides taking part. Helping to develop cricket across the region is an important aspect of the ARCH Trophy as is the fact that it is a UAE-wide event. We hope that the Emirates Airline Pro ARCH Trophy will give the UAE national side the perfect springboard for their World Cup qualifying tournament in April 2009.”

Inaugural Pro ARCH Trophy champions Yorkshire Carnegie are looking forward to defending their title in 2009. Anthony McGrath, Yorkshire's captain added, "I thoroughly enjoyed Yorkshire Carnegie’s pre-season success in the UAE last season. The organisation, weather and facilities were top class and the Pro ARCH Trophy provides us with the opportunity to play competitive cricket outdoors at a time of year when that is not possible at home.”