Mayor’s visit hits young cricketers for six

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees (Centre) attends Powerplays 6s Cricket Festival in St. Paul’s.


Bristol’s Mayor paid a surprise visit to a group of young Bristol cricketers. During a half-term community cricket festival for young Bristolians, Mayor Marvin Rees surprised everyone by rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck into the games.

Having answered some testing questions posed by the children such as “Are you rich?” and “What football team do you support?” the Mayor soon started joining in the games, showing he wasn’t afraid to get on the front foot.

The one-day cricket festival was organized by Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s community programmes Wicketz Bristol and Chance to Shine Street, both of which run regular free cricket sessions for children across Bristol.

The children enjoyed an active day of different and varied cricket games, with the Mayor’s surprise visit adding to the excitement of the day. The one-day festival was a great success in bringing children from across Bristol’s diverse communities together. Children from different areas were not only talking tactics, but were talking about where they lived, their schools and for some, why they were fasting; offering insights into their communities and culture.

By bringing the Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s community programmes together, more children in more areas of the city were able to experience the Power of Sport and understand there is more to sport than winning.  In a fun, competitive environment, children were having their ideas and tactics listened to and discussed, enjoying the rewards of overcoming challenges as well making new friends by sharing in the day, the spirit of their communities and richness of their cultures – and playing cricket with the Mayor.

Mayor Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol City said: It was great to see so many young people getting involved and active.  I was a young cricketer with Bristol West Indies and Old Georgians so it really brought back memories.  I am a big believer in the power of sport to transport lives.  Programmes like this contribute to building the healthier, more engaged and prouder city we need.”

 Steve Silk, Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Cricket Board said: “Wicketz and Chance to Shine Street are based in challenging communities in Bristol to offer free sports provision to children in those areas.  It is great the two projects have worked together to provide a fun and competitive day for the children with all the social benefits only sport can offer.  I look forward to more opportunities like this from the GCB over the summer.”