Charities, players and fans unite to improve lives through cricket
Three leading cricket charities, The Lord’s Taverners, Chance to Shine and PCA Benevolent Fund, are teaming up today (Friday 23rd August) for ‘Cricket United ’; the UK’s biggest ever cricket charity day.
The aim of the day is to raise funds and awareness for the three charities that share a common goal to improve lives through cricket.
For the first time, the England Test team will have a charitable logo on their shirt collars during play and England’s management team will also be wearing Cricket United branded tops. The playing shirts will then be signed and auctioned off for Cricket United. Fans can visit http://bit.ly/Englandshirts to bid on them and the auction is live until 9pm 30 August.
The charities are asking fans to show their support by wearing blue - a colour that unites the three charities - to the ground today and help turn the Kia Oval into a sea of blue. A range of fundraising activity, including a ground raffle giving fans a chance to win a trip to the Brisbane Ashes Test in November, will help raise money for the causes.
Earlier this summer members of the Men’s and Women’s England team sketched portraits of each other raising £11,500 for the joint fundraising appeal.
Alastair Cook said, “We are delighted to be continuing to support Cricket United. It’s been a fantastic summer of cricket and the three charities working together can leave a real legacy for cricket from the Investec Ashes series. I can’t wait to see the Kia Oval turn blue today.”
Former England captain Andrew Strauss and members of the England Test squad recorded this video message to urge fans to support Cricket United day.
Other highlights of the day include:
• Cricket United flag flying on the Kia Oval Pavilion
• Joint charity demo involving kids and PCA coaches on the outfield at lunch
• Investec turning the 4 & 6 cards sky blue
• Blue Cricket United T-shirts on sale (suggested donation of £5)
• Blue Cricket United T.M. Lewin Tie on sale (suggested donation of £25)
• Fundraising by Investec, Yorkshire Tea, Laithwaite’s, Marston’s & Jaguar
Andrew Strauss and a host of ambassadors are lending their support to the day and the charities are working in close partnership with England & Wales Cricket Board, Surrey County Cricket Club and their key sponsors.
The three charities share a common purpose to improve lives through cricket. Funds raised from the day will be split evenly and will help:
• The Lord’s Taverners provide wheelchair-accessible minibuses to special educational needs schools in the UK.
Young disabled people spend, on average, less than half as much time undertaking sport compared to all young people due to lack of opportunities, with 44 per cent of UK special schools never receiving cricket coaching.
• Chance to Shine to deliver competitive cricket opportunities to thousands more schoolchildren.
Before 2005, less than 10 per cent of state schools played any form of meaningful cricket. Today, through Chance to Shine, over two million children are playing competitive cricket in a third of primary and secondary state schools.
• PCA Benevolent Fund run a confidential helpline, providing advice and treatment to players suffering from mental health issues.
In the first twelve months following their retirement 36 per cent of cricketers admit to having sometimes or frequently suffered from feelings of depression or despair.
Those not at the ground can still support the day by making an online donation via the Cricket United page, buying a Cricket United tie from the T.M. Lewin website, buying a seat on Cricket United virtual Supporters’ Stadium via cricketunited.co.uk or spreading the word on social media using #cricketunited.
For more information visit www.cricketunited.co.uk.