London teenagers ‘Batty’ for Workspace Urban20 competition

Gareth Batty, Surrey’s off-spinner and former England cricketer helped launch a new partnership today (16 June), between the Cricket Foundation and Workspace Group PLC.

Batty was on hand to offer tips and advice to teenagers from across south London at the inaugural ‘Workspace Urban20’ cricket tournament at The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey. The tournament, played in a 23,000 square foot unit at Workspace’s Biscuit Factory, signifies the launch of a two year partnership between the Cricket Foundation and Workspace Group PLC.

Workspace Urban20 is a cricket competition for secondary age children from schools involved in the Cricket Foundation’s charitable ‘Chance to Shine supported by Brit Insurance’ campaign. It engages teenagers in cricket activity and provide opportunities to learn vocational skills. The inaugural tournament was won by Stepney Green Secondary School in Bethnal Green.

Gareth Batty was on hand to offer tips and advice to youngsters playing in the tournament: “Playing in here [the warehouse] reminds of what you see in India, kids playing everywhere with a ball like a tapeball. There have been some really good cricketers down here today who clearly have the talent and skills. Young kids playing cricket like this have to think more about the game and are better placed to play intelligent cricket.”

The Workspace Urban20 cricket tournament forms part of Workspace’s community investment programme which enables engagement between entrepreneurship, education and employment. As part of Workspace’s wider initiative, young people from Chance to Shine schools will have the opportunity to learn important life and vocational skills by being involved in the planning and staging of future tournaments. Further engagement in local community will be offered by Workspace PLC – staff will have the opportunity to engage with youngsters in local Chance to Shine schools to share knowledge and experience of the working world.

Workspace Group PLC is a specialised property based business which provides business accommodation for small businesses throughout London and the South East. Workspace Group is providing office support to the Cricket Foundation as part of the partnership.

Workspace Group encourages urban regeneration and co-operation between the public and private sectors. James Friedenthal, Director of Marketing said: “We’re delighted to enter into partnership with the Cricket Foundation, which runs such effective community engagement programmes. Through the festival programme we want to offer young people the opportunity to have fun by playing in the festivals but also through being involved in the logistics of staging tournaments and promoting them.”

Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation said: “We believe at Chance to Shine that cricket can help teach youngsters many things about life. By working with Workspace Group PLC to provide London teenagers with opportunities not only to play cricket but to be involved in real hands-on vocational experience around these tournament further demonstrates the educational benefits of Chance to Shine.”

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