Youngsters take their chance at cricket

A community centre in Liverpool’s football heartland has won an award for its contribution to cricket.
 
StreetChance, supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports, is a  national inner-city cricket programme. Anfield Sports and Community Centre won the Special Recognition Award at the StreetChance Annual Achievement Awards held at the home of cricket,  Lord’s just a week before the start of the Ashes.

StreetChance was launched at the Centre last October with the help of former footballers Didi Hamann and Nick Barmby, and since then staff mmbers  Marie Rooney and Michelle Taylor have worked tirelessly to make the project a success in the community.

By incorporating StreetChance into school holiday activities and letting kids play a quick game of football before starting the session, they have transformed cricket into one of the most popular sports at the Centre.

Michelle, Community Sports Inclusion Officer at the Centre said: “We were thrilled to be presented with the StreetChance Special Recognition Award. It’s a fantastic project which has allowed us to introduce a new sport to young people in the community. 

“The kids involved have also had the opportunity to meet other young people from different cultures and visit new cities around the country to participate in half-term competitions. We’re really looking forward to the next year of delivering StreetChance.”

Attended by special guest, former Ashes star and England ODI coach  Ashley Giles, the evening was hosted by the BBC’s cricket and football presenter, Manish Basin and brought together participants from all seven StreetChance cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Dewsbury).

StreetChance is an inner-city cricket initiative run in partnership between the Cricket Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports to divert young people away from youth crime and anti-social behaviour through free, year-round cricket sessions.  The scheme also aims to achieve positive outcomes for young people through participation leading to training, volunteering or secured employment  and works to break down barriers between police and young people through special ‘Peace at the Crease’ events where children and local officers play tape-ball cricket with and against each other.

Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation Wasim Khan MBE said:”Despite doubts that cricket wouldn’t match the obvious local appeal of football, the team at the Centre have gone out of their way to help StreetChance flourish in Anfield. Without their support, the project would have struggled and it’s thanks to them that their community now boasts a large group of cricket-mad young people in the form of the ‘Merseyside Magic’ team.

StreetChance sessions for eight-15 year olds in Liverpool take place in Anfield on Thursdays, 4-6pm at Anfield Sports & Community Centre, Breckside Park, Lower Breck Road, L6 0AG and Dingle on Wednesdays, 4.30-6.30pm at Park Road Sports Centre, Steble Street, Liverpool, L8 6QH

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