FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN Nasser Hussain OBE has launched a “Clubs in Need” programme, in collaboration with Capital Kids Cricket (CKC).
The ground-breaking initiative, launched last Thursday at the Leyton County Cricket Ground, aims to rejuvenate struggling cricket clubs while bridging the gap in transitioning young cricketers – boys and girls – from soft ball to hard ball cricket, addressing critical challenges within the community.
Cricket clubs play a pivotal role in nurturing future talent and fostering healthy communities. However, many of these clubs are facing severe challenges, including declining engagement, volunteer shortages, limited parental involvement, weak school connections, and the looming threat of collapse.
Nasser Hussain OBE expressed his passion for this initiative, stating, “As a cricket community, we all need to come together alongside the ECB, County Boards, funders, local authorities, and support each other. Lots of good work has already been done, but more needs to be accomplished.”
Shahidul Alam Ratan, CEO of Capital Kids Cricket, emphasised the importance of inclusivity, saying, “The game is missing out on many young talents from cricket clubs, particularly those from ethnically diverse communities. It's time to step up and do something about it.”
The programme launch event was attended by enthusiastic schoolchildren and club junior members. Nasser Hussain actively engaged with them, participating in a cricket session. Numerous cricket clubs have expressed their interest in joining the programme. Currently, CKC is collaborating with county boards to ensure that the most deprived clubs receive vital support as soon as possible.
“Clubs in Need” will provide tailored assistance to each club, focusing on various key aspects, including:
•establishing strong links with local schools, communities and local authorities;
•increasing women and girls' participation;
•recruiting volunteers and mentoring coaches;
•assisting with club coaching and organizing holiday camps;
•offering logistical support for away games when possible;
•promoting clubs within schools and community groups via social media, flyers, websites, newsletters and local media.
One of the critical challenges addressed by the programme is the difficulty some clubs face in retaining members due to logistical issues. This leads to match cancellations and missed competitive opportunities. The “Clubs in Need” initiative will also focus on addressing the knowledge gap which often prevents clubs from accessing available funding.
The programme will work to strengthen networks that support club committees and key personnel by leveraging local knowledge in collaboration with local authorities, county boards, schools, and community groups.
●For more information about CKC and the “Clubs in Need” programme, go to:
Capital Kids Cricket
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