A GROUP of Keighley sportswomen enjoyed a prestigious civic date after the town's MP saw a picture of the then-Lord Mayor in the Keighley News.

The group joined Keighley MP John Grogan for the meeting with then Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Zafar Ali, at City Hall in Bradford.

The group (pictured from left) included Rebecca Studholme, PE teacher at Oakbank and Airedale Hockey Club captain; Cara Harbourne, Oakbank student who has a black belt in taekwondo, and has competed at the Yorkshire Championships and won all three bouts; Faatimah Siddeeqah Oakbank student who plays both football and netball for the school; then Lord Mayor of Bradford; Mr Grogan; Rebecca Kenna, world number three women’s snooker player; Sam Keighley, strategic director at the Yorkshire Sport Foundation; and Saima Hussain, UK’s first Asian female rugby league player, first to be capped by England and manager of the Community Cougars Foundation.

Sam Keighley said: "Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey, published in April this year, is encouraging, showing that more people are becoming more active more often; also, nationally the gap between men and women is closing and more disabled people are active than at any time since 2012.

"Across the Bradford district there has been a seven per cent reduction in the number of people being active for less than 30 minutes a week and a further seven per cent increase in people already active, doing more.

"We know that there are lots of benefits of being active including having fun, meeting new people, feeling better both physically and mentally so the more people who are active, the more people are benefitting.

"And, we know that there is still lots to do; in our district 40 per cent of people still don’t do enough activity to benefit their health and we know this figure is much higher in some of our communities.

"We still need more agencies and communities to work together to find ways to make physical activity a normal part of everyday life."

Mr Grogan said: "The Lord Mayor invited me to bring a group of Keighley citizens to City Hall.

"I had recently seen a picture in the Keighley News featuring the Lord Mayor and the Keighley Cougars team.

"I thought it would be good to highlight the ever-increasing number of women involved in sport in Keighley.

"Nationally this summer will see both the Women’s Football and Netball World Cups live on BBC Television."