Leicestershire Cook-Off

A few weeks ago, the Foxes took advantage of funding from the Professional Cricketers’ Association in order to improve their knowledge on nutrition and healthy cooking via a cross-squad cooking challenge, and we also threw in a little healthy competition as well top appeal to the lads’ sportsman tendencies.

Paceman and PCA representative for the Foxes, Gavin Griffiths helps arrange the contest brining in 13 of the Foxes First XI, as well as PCA Personal Development Manager Charlie Mulraine. The group were divided into two teams to go to head-to-head in the ‘Leicestershire Cook-Off’ to decide who would be taking home the prosecco, and who would leave with the wooden spoon.

The two teams were headed up by captains Tom Taylor and Ateeq Javid.

Tom’s team included Arron Lilley, Dieter Klein, Harry Swindells, Aadil Ali, Lewis Hill and Charlie Mulraine. Whereas, Ateeq’s team included Club Captain Paul Horton, Gavin Griffiths, Will Davis, Hassan Azad, Harry Dearden and Ben Mike.

The cook-off took place at Orange Kitchen, Beckett’s Farm in Birmingham and both teams were given identical ingredients and the same amount of time to produce the best dish.

The workshop was part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme, one of the association’s core activities, which is accessible to all current and former professional cricketers. The twin aims of the Programme are:

  • To improve the performance of cricketers through easing and minimising potential distractions during their playing career.
  • To better prepare cricketers for life after cricket.

Trained Personal Development Managers (PDMs) provide support and guidance to players on a variety of issues such as education, career and family whilst keeping their cricketing focus. All first-class counties are supported by six regional PDMs and their aim is to work closely with the players, coaches and support staff to minimise potential concerns and distractions, which could adversely affect a player’s performance or career.

Each PDM has a budget to deliver a minimum of two workshops per county, every calendar year. Sessions in the past have included public speaking, property education, leadership and many others.

Gavin, who was elected as the PCA Rep for the Foxes at the end of the 2018 season explained the reasoning behind the cooking challenge: “I was approached by Charlie Mulraine, our PCA Personal Development Manager, to say that the PCA had some funding for some extra-curricular activity as a squad.

“We have a lot of young guys who are starting to move away from their parents’ house so cooking is a very important skill to have and it can be a challenge. Being in professional sport eating the right foods and gaining the correct nutrition is very important.”

He added: “Something Paul Nixon is big on is our team spirit and everyone has a competitive edge, that’s why we are in the industry we are in. Sadly, I was on the losing side today but all the dishes made were of a high quality.

“The biggest thing I took out of the day was cooking from fresh, I don’t fancy myself as a cook but I use a lot of things out of tins and cooking things like dried pasta and as the chefs explained, it’s quite easy to make your own. We made a lot of vegetarian dishes which is something I’d never choose to make but they were probably the ones I liked the most which was interesting.

“The funding from the PCA is wonderful and in the future we will look to do as much as we can.

“When the lads made their way down here they didn’t know what to expect but to a man they really enjoyed it and the important thing is they’ve all taken something away with them to help them in the future.”

To find out more about the Personal Development & Welfare programme, click here.