Disability cricket offering set to benefit from further £2m investment into the ECB’s five cricket charity partners to break down cricket’s barriers
New and expanded ECB charity partnerships will provide free cricket to more state school children including those living with a disability, open up talent pathways to young people from state schools and ethnically diverse communities, and help young British South Asian cricketers make their professional breakthrough, as the national governing body looks to significantly accelerate work to support communities where cricket has been hard to access.
An additional £2million injection over the next two and a half years stands to benefit tens of thousands more children and young people as part of efforts to make cricket the country’s most inclusive sport and address barriers highlighted in the recent report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC).
The ECB will officially partner with MCC Foundation, African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme and the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) to open up opportunities and talent pathways for state school, Black and British South Asian cricketers. Long-term partners Chance to Shine and the Lord’s Taverners will also receive extra funding to deliver cricket to more state schools with high numbers of children on free school meals and for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Through partnerships with Chance to Shine, the MCC Foundation and Lord’s Taverners, the ECB aims to offer cricket in more state schools to give children from underserved communities and students with special education needs the chance to play the game, as well as offering more opportunities to talented state school children who might currently struggle to access talent pathways.
In our case, an expansion of our disability cricket offering thanks to this increased funding and support will see cricket delivered in more schools than ever before for students living with a disability.
In the last academic year, through increased funding, cricket was delivered in 400 new schools for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, benefitting around 13,000 children. This expansion will see cricket delivered into another 200 schools, reaching another 7,000 students.
Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “If we are to realise our ambition of making cricket the most inclusive sport, we have to break down barriers which have stopped children and young people from state schools and ethnically diverse backgrounds realising their potential. These five charity partnerships are focused on doing just that.
“Our charity partners all have a proven track record, and by backing their expertise we can give many more children the chance to play and to reach their potential. By working together in a targeted way, we can make more of an impact in addressing some of the challenges identified by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket.”
Lord’s Taverners CEO, Mark Curtin, said: “We’ve made phenomenal progress in the first year of this partnership which has allowed us to bring cricket to thousands more young people living with a disability – many of whom rarely get the chance to experience sport. We’re seeing and hearing every day from teachers, parents and carers the impact this crucial work is delivering – not just in the school environment but also the wider outcomes the programme is achieving.
“This increased funding will allow us to grow our reach into more schools and continue to deliver inclusive cricket to thousands more young people – none of which would be possible without this partnership and fantastic support we receive from the ECB.”