Throughout the summer in 2022, we were very fortunate at Cricket Wales to be successful, in our application for Chance to Shine Street Cricket funding. The ability to do this tied in perfectly for our long term vision of community engagement across the deprived and diverse communities of Wales. We have put a major focus in being constantly present within a variety of areas, across Cardiff and Newport with our aims to diversify the sport of cricket in Wales, with the following being on offer for the community we serve:
· Regular street cricket within the inner-city areas of Cardiff and Newport
· Cricket festivals celebrating diversity across the cricket season
• Inter-faith tape ball league promoting cohesion between different cultures and communities
· Regular women’s and girl’s only cricket activity
· School visits across the inner-city communities of Newport and Cardiff
· Regular cricket for asylum-seekers and refugees within Cardiff
· Provided access to Sophia Gardens to communities and people of low-income backgrounds, offering stadium tours, masterclasses and regular practice
· Qualified volunteers within the community as Foundation 1 and Core Coaches
However, having access to Chance to Shine, funding provided a different dynamic. It allows us the ability to hold a variety of centres, across a large demographic, due to the ability to hire a number of street coaches, who were then able to go out and work individually across Cardiff and Newport. The first two centres, we ran were at Pillgwenlly and Grangetown, these were run by Zarqa Hussain, who has a rich history in community engagement and cricket coaching and also Nooh Omar, who is now working at the Urdd as their Diverse Communities Sport Development Officer.
They have provided the following information, just to provide a small snippet of the impact of their work, in those communities:
Pillgwenlly (Zarqa Hussain)
I knew the girls were interested when I saw them at a community event and they were using the skills they had learnt in our outreach sessions.
One young girl shared ‘I look forward to Cricket all week and cannot wait to learn more.’
The community of girls we have engaged with have embraced the sport and are always keen to develop and learn. We have just come to an end of the first term of sessions and we are now firming up arrangements for the next term of sessions.
During the sessions we had a lot of interest from the mothers of the girls attending. Some have become involved in the sessions by supporting me as a Coach and also getting involved in the game itself. This has added a great value to the sessions. Some of the parents have shared that this is the first time they have exercised since their teenage years.
On week 1 the girls had no idea what a cricket game looked like and how to set a game up. Now at the final week of the term the girls were able to set their own game up, position the fielding and add some tactics to their game play.
They have developed well and are always keen to learn.
Grangetown (Nooh Omar)
As part of the chance to shine programme, I had the good fortune to conduct cricket sessions. These sessions have been my responsibility for the last four months.
My sessions have been held at Butetown and Grangetown. I've encountered 50 different participants on a weekly basis in the last 4 months, ranging in ages from 4 to 17. Having grown up in an area as diverse as Butetown and through my experience in community work, I felt that my network within the community would serve me well, however what was most pleasing was exposing children of an East-African background to the sport of cricket. These individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds.
Almost 50% of the participants did not play cricket before these sessions.
Due to a lack of exposure to the sport in their cultures and communities, several of these children originally showed little interest in the sport. However, after being given the chance to play, many of them took to it and now frequently attend my sessions and enjoy the sport. This demonstrates the significance of both the project and the sessions. This might inspire these young individuals to join cricket clubs and possibly advance the sport significantly.
After, the success of these two projects, we were extremely excited to hear that we had ticked all the boxes for continued funding, up until April of 2023. This funding, will allow us to continue the brilliant work that we have going on currently, as well as give us the ability to hold a number of other centres across Cardiff and Newport. The centres, we will be running are as follows:
Location- Butetown Pavilion (CF10 5FE)
Coaches- Mojeid Ilyas, Nooh Omar and Ismail Chowdhury
Timings- 11:30am to 3:30pm
Partners- Grange Pavilion, Butetown Pavilion and Grangetown Cultural Centre
Date- Every Sunday
Age Groups-9 to 16
Chance to Shine Young Adults Tapeball Cricket Hub
Location- Butetown Pavilion (CF10 5FE)
Coaches-Ismail Chowdhury, Mojeid Ilyas
Timings- 3:30pm – 5pm
Partners- Grangetown Cultural Centre, Riverside Community Centre
Dates- Every Sunday
Age Groups- 18 and above
Fitzalan High School Hub
Location- Fitzalan High School
Timings- 3:15pm to 4:30pm
Coaches- Mojeid Ilyas,Ismail Chowdhury and Nooh Omar
Partners- Fitzalan High School
Dates- Every Tuesday
South Riverside Hub
•Location- South Riverside Community Development Centre (CF11 6EQ)
•Coaches- Mojeid Ilyas, Nooh Omar, Ismail Chowdhury
•Timings-11:30am to 1:30pm
•Partners-Riverside Cultural & Community Centre
•Dates- Every Saturday
Location- Newport Indoor Football Centre (NP20 2HZ)
Coaches- Zarqa Hussain
Timings- 6pm to 8pm
Partners- Newport Yemeni Community Association
Dates- Every Friday
Stay updated on our social media channels, to keep an eye out for more centres, hopefully coming your way soon!