[lead]More children in Gloucestershire will have the chance to play cricket at school after the ECB announced it is to double its investment in primary education.[/lead]
The national governing body will donate at least £2.5m per year to the Chance to Shine charity – which aims to get more youngsters in state schools taking part in cricket.
The money will allow Chance to Shine to reach at least 500,000 primary school children a year from 2017/18 to 2021.
The charity’s schools programme is delivered by England’s and Wales’ 39 county boards, including the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB).The GCB spent 2600 hours coaching children in 100 primary schools last year through Chance to Shine.
And GCB projects and programmes manager Chris Munden said:
“The ECB donation will be used to help expand the Board’s schools work.
He said: “This increase in funding is fantastic news. It will allow us to expand our schools programme and inspire even more youngsters to play and get involved in cricket.
“A strong, wide-reaching schools programme is vital in getting young people to engage with cricket at an early age. In turn this is crucial in helping us to grow the club game and ensure it is sustainable.”
The ECB’s new agreement with Chance to Shine links in with Cricket Unleashed, the new framework for cricket in England and Wales.
The partnership is based around three core objectives; to give young people (aged five – 11) a great first experience of cricket, to support teachers to build a sustainable culture of cricket in state schools and to help young people to play regularly and learn key life skills.
Matt Dwyer ECB director of participation and growth said: “We believe cricket is uniquely placed to enrich the lives of young people, whether that be through the development of nine of the 10 fundamental movements skills, the fact that we are the only sport that incorporates our values into the official rules of the game or the fact that cricket can deliver so many in-class curriculum outcomes.
“Cricket has the ability to inspire kids in our communities in a way like no other and we will do that together with Chance to Shine.”
The agreement hopes to capitalise on new interest in cricket ignited by a number of major international events in England and Wales including the ICC Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup in 2017, the 2019 ICC World Cup and a home Ashes series.
In an additional funding boost, ECB will provide a new match fundraising opportunity of up to £500,000 each year as an extra incentive to the charity’s donors to sustain and increase their support.
Luke Swanson, Chance to Shine chief executive added, “Our vision is that all young people have the opportunity to play and learn through cricket. That’s easy to say but very hard to achieve; this new long-term commitment from ECB provides the most tremendous boost to getting us there.”