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Grassroots cricket participation reaches record levels across Lancashire

Lancashire Cricket Foundation, the official charity of Lancashire Cricket, has announced a huge rise in cricket participation across the county with 110,385 participants in schools, clubs, and communities engaged during the past year.

The new participation figures represent a record breaking year with almost 20,000 more children and young people, women and girls, disabled people, and older members of the community taking part in a wide range of activities delivered by the Foundation’s coaches and volunteers, compared to 2022.

The figures have been revealed in Lancashire Cricket Foundation’s Annual Impact Report which has been released today. The not-for-profit organisation provides county-wide governance for the recreational game and access high quality experiences that make a positive difference to the lives of the individuals and communities, to grow the appeal of the game at all levels.

From the overall participation figures, over 74,000 young people engaged with cricket through the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Chance to Shine Primary and Secondary Girls Programmes, which are delivered by Foundation coaches across the region. This marked a 24% increase from the 60,000 who participated in 2022.

Women and girl’s cricket is one of the fastest growing areas of the sport and in 2023 the Lancashire Cricket Foundation continued to provide dedicated support and funding that enabled a 22% increase in the number of clubs across the county now operating a dedicated female section.

In addition to the 124 clubs now catering for competitive women and girl’s cricket, 1,626 girls aged 5-11 took in All Stars and Dynamos programmes, a rise of 34% year-on-year. 

“Cricket participation continues to thrive across Lancashire and we are extremely proud that the work of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation has helped engage a record number of children, women and girls, disabled people, and older members of the community, than ever before,” said Jen Barden, Executive Director of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation.

“We witness first-hand how cricket can transform lives, and we are committed to making the game accessible to everyone, which includes developing and enhancing facilities, such as the Urban Cricket Centre at Abraham Moss Leisure Centre. Our focus is on providing projects, programmes and events that engage, excite, inspire, and make a positive difference to the lives of the individuals and communities. To be able to deliver these experiences for more than 110,000 people, almost 20% more than the year before, is a testament to our partners, staff, volunteers and supporters,” Barden added.

In Lancashire Cricket’s 160th anniversary year, the work of its Foundation underpins the broader aims of the county, championed by the Red Rose Together campaign which launched earlier this year to highlight the range of the Club’s and Foundation’s key activities that drive a love of the game and make cricket accessible to all. 

A large number of the Foundation’s programmes and initiatives are focused on enabling people from deprived communities and those with disabilities to access the sport. These include:

  • Chance to Shine Street - a programme that brings cricket into deprived urban areas which engaged 1,482 participants in 2023.
  • Core Cities - engaging South Asian communities in Manchester, with the principal aim to inspire people to connect with cricket – both as players and as spectators.
  • ACE - a charity programme inspiring  the wider game to support reconnecting the Black community with cricket.
  • Ramadan Cup - a tournament for local teams in the Muslim Community during the Islamic month of Ramadan. 102 people from eight Lancashire-based teams competed across 39 matches of five over cricket.
  • SEND Schools Programme - providing cricket-related activities for 940 participants in the special educational needs and disabilities schools programme

Last year saw a number of other success stories for the Foundation with the launch of its first ever facilities strategy, a ten-year vision for ensuring that everyone in Lancashire has access to ‘Places to Play’. 

2023 also saw the first cohort to join the Foundation’s newly formed Young Volunteer Academy, supporting young people aged 16-25 to get into cricket volunteering by providing them with training, courses and bespoke experiences that will directly benefit them and the clubs they’re involved in.

Lancashire’s 317 recreational and affiliated clubs - which cater for more than 19,000 players taking in part in almost 11,000 competitive cricket fixtures annually - are at the heart of the Foundation's work as it strives to ensure they can thrive and grow, attracting more people to play the game. 

The Lancashire Cricket Foundation is preparing to deliver a range of projects, programmes and events across the North West this summer designed to engage, excite, inspire and improve individuals and communities through cricket.

To find out more about the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, including information on participation and coaching opportunities, and how to support and donate, please click here.

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