The three-year StreetChance project will initially be delivered across 10 boroughs, using cricket to engage young people in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour. The project aims to instil positive values in young people, such as self-confidence, team spirit and mutual respect – and enhance their relationships with schools, police and the wider community.
The in-school initiative is based on the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine model, and sees Barclays Spaces for Sports joining forces with the Metropolitan Police Service, non-government organisation Cricket for Change, and Home Office-funded social inclusion project Positive Futures.
In its first year, StreetChance aims to involve 5,000 young people across London. In-school activities will provide pupils with 25 hours of professional cricket coaching and competition during the summer term. And outside of school hours, young people can take part in a three-hour cricket session every week for 44 weeks.
The sessions will use Cricket for Change’s ‘Street 20’ game – a fast-paced version of cricket where each innings lasts for 20 balls and games last for 20 minutes. It can be played with limited equipment, using a tennis ball bound with tape to replicate a cricket ball. Competitions will take place across London with a grand final in the autumn.
“We are delighted to be involved in delivering this project, making cricket more accessible to a large number of youngsters from inner-city London,” said Barclays Group Vice Chairman Gary Hoffman. “This initiative reflects the broader aim of Barclays Spaces for Sports to transform disadvantaged communities through sport.”
“This project provides an opportunity for police officers to meet with young people locally and understand any concerns they may have around crime, crime prevention and safety,” added Sir Paul Stephenson, Deputy Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service.
England cricketers Ravi Bopara and Isa Guha helped to launch the scheme at the Westway Sports Centre near White City. Young people from local schools were among those who took part in cricket activities at the venue, which is one of 10 being used in the first year of the project.