Young Bristol cricketers find political voice
Wicketz Bristol had an inspiring visit on 22 May from Bristol Youth Mayors, Eve Szczelkun and Jack Payne who spoke at their cricket hub at the Greenway Centre in Southmead, along with Bristol Youth Parliamentarian Matt Simpson and Bristol Youth Councillor Jack Pitt.
The budding cricketers, many of whom serve on their school councils, found a new voice – the voice of Bristol Youth. The Wicketz players were excited to learn the youth of Bristol have the ear of the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, through their voted Youth Mayors, Eve Szczelkun and Jack Payne, who had a higher percentage of voting representation than the Mayor himself.
The young cricketers were initially bowled over by the idea their own concerns with their communities could be voiced, and they were very excited at the suggestion by youth councillor Jack Pitt of more playing facilities in their Bristol parks. Youth parliamentarian Matt Simpson also mentioned he will be at the Houses of Parliament in London representing the youth of Bristol regarding their concerns on a national level.
After their talks, the Bristol youth representatives were put through their paces on the cricket pitch. The young cricketers played a fast-paced version of cricket used by Wicketz Bristol to ease new players into the game, and the Bristol youth representatives quickly picked up some cricket tips from the players.
Some say that sport and politics should be separate and one should not influence the other. However, on a sun lit evening in Southmead, the youth of Bristol showed the power of sport and political power can positively influence each other.
Wicketz Bristol Southmead hub
The Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol, BS10 5PY
Every Monday 4.30pm – 6.00pm for young people aged 8–16