Barclays Spaces for Sports has expanded StreetChance, a programme using cricket to engage young people in areas affected by crime and anti-social behaviour to Bristol, UK.
Gloucestershire batsman Hamish Marshall and Somerset pace bowler Steve Kirby joined youngsters from across the country on Thursday to launch the inner-city cricket initiative.
The event took place at Action Indoor Sports Centre in Whitchurch, Bristol, where young people participating in StreetChance projects in Birmingham and London took on local teams in a ‘tapeball cricket’ tournament.
Tapeball cricket, used by StreetChance, is a fast-paced version of the sport, using a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape. Each inning lasts for 20 balls and games are played for just 20 minutes. This version of the sport can be played with limited equipment, making it ideal for inner-city venues.
StreetChance is engaging with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary to break down barriers between police officers and young people.
It will also provide free cricket coaching and other activities promoting social inclusion to those aged between eight and 18 at schools and community centres such as Fairfield School, Oasis Academy John Williams and Horfield Leisure Centre.
Through these activities, StreetChance aims to help participants improve their skills in such areas as leadership, communication, ability to work in teams and developing effective relationships.
Kirk Harrison, Head of StreetChance, added: “Barclays Spaces for Sports is delighted to introduce this exciting and innovative sport-for-development programme to the city of Bristol.
“We are convinced that it will benefit all participants by enabling them to develop new life skills and build relationships with both their peers and those delivering the programme.
“StreetChance is about giving young people a choice and we’re proud to be expanding the programme across the country in partnership with the Cricket Foundation and our other partners.”
Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation, a charity which runs StreetChance in conjunction with Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “We’re delighted to be launching StreetChance in Bristol – it will provide local young people with a positive outlet for their energies and the chance to play a fast, fun version of cricket in a competitive environment.
“We’ve seen so many young people thrive through their involvement in StreetChance and I know many Bristol youngsters will do the same, whether it’s shining on the pitch or being a great role model off it.”
StreetChance was launched in London in 2008, and began an expansion within the UK capital and to six new cities this July.
In addition to engaging young people in areas affected by crime and anti-social behaviour, it aims to increase aspiration, promote mutual respect and enhance relationships with schools, the police and the wider community.
StreetChance is run by StreetChance, which forms part of the firm’s overall community investment programme. Investing in our communities is an integral part of Barclays Citizenship strategy. With a focus on financial, enterprise and life skills, Barclays supports disadvantaged people to build the confidence and skills to achieve financial independence and security.