Inner city ‘stree’ cricket initiative expands to tackle youth crime and anti-social behaviour nationwide

The Cricket Foundation is delighted to announce today (Wednesday 27 July) that Barclays Spaces for Sports will continue its support for StreetChance with a three-year follow-on investment.

The investment is Barclays Spaces for Sports’ biggest single programme-investment in the UK, £500,000 over three years, and, along with £1.5 million investment from the Cricket Foundation, it will see the programme expanded to five additional London boroughs and six cities across England.

StreetChance supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports launched in 2008, initially in London only, as an extension of the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine campaign to educate children in state schools through cricket.

<p>Starting in 10 London boroughs in 2008, StreetChance&rsquo;s success saw it expand to 15 boroughs in 2010. &nbsp;From today, after an expansion to five new London boroughs, there will be 31 projects running across 20 boroughs, including 20 community projects, four specialist girls&rsquo; projects, six estates projects and one project at a Young Offenders Institute.&nbsp;</p>

In three years, nearly 15,000 young people from across London have benefited from over 5,000 hours of cricket and social inclusion activity. StreetChance community sessions feature inter-borough tournaments every school holiday, a programme of activity in housing estates and ‘Peace at the Crease’ sessions, where local Metropolitan Police officers join youngsters for cricket activity.

After a successful two years in London, in 2010 StreetChance began pilots in two further cities, Birmingham and Dewsbury (Yorkshire), targeting areas of multiple deprivation and social segregation. Working with local police forces and county cricket boards, the two pilots have already successfully engaged over 500 youngsters in Birmingham and Dewsbury.

Following the new investment from Barclays Spaces for Sports and the Cricket Foundation, StreetChance is now planning to launch a full programme of activity in Birmingham and Dewsbury in 2011, and expand further to two new cities, Manchester and Bristol this year. In 2012, two additional projects will begin, in Hull and Liverpool.

StreetChance is a partnership between the Cricket Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports. The programme works closely with county cricket boards and Cricket for Change, and strategically partners with the Metropolitan Police Service and County Constabularies around the UK.

StreetChance uses cricket to engage young people from a range of backgrounds in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour. The project aims to increase aspiration, promote mutual respect, and enhance relationships with others, including schools, police and the wider community.

The programme works in selected state schools and community venues, in areas lacking in green space and cricket clubs. Sessions are often held in evenings to engage children and young people in positive diversionary activity in their areas. Community sessions run all year round.

Over the next three years, StreetChance aims to engage more than 16,000 people; training and mentoring more than 200 teachers, 250 local young coaches and volunteers, and creating more than 1600 young leaders in schools.

In addition to the community sessions, there will be year-round projects on 18 housing estates identified by local police across London and the six new cities to engage more young people in hard to reach areas.

StreetChance sessions use a fast-paced version of tape-ball cricket, a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape – where each innings lasts for 20 balls and games last for just 20 minutes. It is very accessible and can be played with limited equipment, so is ideally suited for inner city venues.

Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that Barclays Spaces for Sports is investing in StreetChance to enable it to continue for at least another three years. StreetChance provides vital opportunities for young people in deprived areas to help increase aspiration and improve community cohesion. StreetChance, and cricket in general, crosses social, racial and religious divides.

Kirk Harrison, Head of Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “Barclays Spaces for Sports is excited and proud to be continuing its association with Streetchance after three successful years. StreetChance has delivered important life skills to nearly 15,000 young people across London and created a sustainable structure of community coaches and youth leaders who will continue to deliver in the communities for years to come.

The success of the programme in London since 2008 led us to examining ways in which we could take a highly successful sport for development concept to five additional London boroughs and to six cities across the UK. As such we are delighted to be supporting the Cricket Foundation and our other partners in this exciting development.

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