The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Warwickshire Cricket Board today launched the first nationwide entry-level participation programme for cricket, with the aim of getting 50,000 boys and girls excited by the game this year.
A new generation of families across Birmingham and Warwickshire will be introduced to cricket through All Stars Cricket, a major new grassroots initiative for children aged five to eight years-old, which starts in May.
All Stars Cricket will be delivered through 68 local cricket clubs and centres across Birmingham and Warwickshire, including the iconic Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Birmingham Bears.
From today (Monday 20 March) parents can register their kids to take part via allstarscricket.co.uk. After signing-up, boys and girls will have a cricket ‘back-pack’ delivered to their door with a bat, ball and everything they need to try the game for the first time.
They will then start an eight-week programme at their local participating centre, with the emphasis placed firmly on learning how to play the game in a fun, safe and inclusive environment. Children will also learn the social development skills that team sport brings.
Each session of the eight-week programme - developed with input from Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss and the performance team - will give children the basic skills they need to develop a lifelong love of cricket.
ECB will give the 68 local participating clubs and centres free All Stars kits, volunteer training and support via a central marketing campaign, celebrating ‘Big Moments’ as children take their first steps in the game.
ECB Director of Participation & Growth Matt Dwyer said: “We have big ambitions to significantly grow the game and this programme is all about putting a bat and ball in the hands of more children at an earlier age. First and foremost, we want to make playing cricket a fun and enjoyable experience for children and give them a passion for the game to last a lifetime.
“Drawing kids to the game at an early age will develop more players, create more fans and show the power of cricket in developing physical and social skills.
“We also want to make sure that parents have a great first experience at the club and give them the chance to have an hour back with their kids every week. We will be encouraging parents to get involved with sessions, whatever their prior knowledge of the game.
“Within weeks of unveiling the programme to clubs we had 2,000 of them sign up to deliver All Stars Cricket and this summer we hope to have 50,000 kids trying the sport all over the country through this exciting nationwide programme.”
Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said: "We all know that kids - not to mention grown-ups - benefit from regular exercise, but finding fun new ways to get everyone running around can stretch parents' ingenuity. We're happy to be working with the ECB on their campaign to highlight ways to help parents find fun, sporty activities that their children will love."
Junior Bears Membership
Formerly the Grizzlies, we have a new and improved Under 16s club for our youngest Bears fans. This exclusive club not only gives them entry to all domestic cricket at Edgbaston (that’s 39 days of cricket!) but also exciting perks and opportunities throughout the season. At just £25 for the year, this is an opportunity not to be missed.