Worcestershire Cricket Board Limited (WCBL) are aiming to attract 1,700 children across the County to participate this summer in the ECB’s ‘All Stars Cricket’ initiative aimed at attracting 5-8 year-olds to the game for life.
The ECB scheme was launched two years ago and the response across Worcestershire has seen a massive growth from 483 participants in 2017 to 1,119 last summer – an increase of 231 per cent.
Now, with the feelgood factor of a home ICC World Cup in 2019, WCBL are targeting even more youngsters falling in love with the game for life via All Stars.
They have set up 40 centres across the County where youngsters can participate.
For an all-in cost of just £40, children will receive eight weeks coaching at one of the centres plus a rucksack, personalised shirt, bat, ball, cap, a set of stumps if they are a returning member, and an activity pack embracing the ICC World Cup – all sent straight to their door.
The programme is suitable for all skill levels and also enables children to make friends in a safe and enjoyable environment with mums and dads encouraged to also take part.
But the more children who take up the game, the more opportunity will be there to discover the next Daryl Mitchell, Joe Leach, Ben Cox or Josh Tongue.
WCBL Club Development Manager, Craig Oakley, said: “It is a crucial way of getting children involved in the game and the reason All Stars came about was because cricket wasn’t being chosen as a sport by children in the UK.
“From our perspective, it is about getting many children as possible involved and enjoying the game from a young age and hopefully they will progress through to playing cricket, falling in love with the game.
“We’d love to see in 10 years time people playing for Worcestershire and England who started their journey with All Stars
“We had a fantastic summer last year with 1,119 children across Worcestershire playing All Stars Cricket.
“We are looking to grow that to 1700 this year and the idea is to use the power of the ICC World Cup to make it a really good summer for everyone.
“We will have 40 cricket club centres across the County and they will be available for the eight week period for those 5-8 year old children to get involved.
“As part of the package we provide for the clubs, we train activators, who are club coaches, and they are the people who lead the sessions for All Stars
“We teach them all the skills needed to provide All Stars throughout the summer.”
Anyone wanting to participate should log onto the All Stars Cricket website, put their postcode in and find their nearest centre via www.ecb.co.uk/play/all-stars
During March the ECB also have a special offer whereby anyone that signs up to All Stars Cricket will be in with the chance of winning one of three prizes to be a ‘Trophy Mascot’ during the ICC World Cup.
The All Stars Centres in Worcestershire are based at:
Ashton Under Hill CC
Barnards Green CC
Barnt Green CC
Chaddesley Corbett CC
Coombs Wood CC
Droitwich Spa CC
Five Ways Old Edwardians CC
Kidderminster Girls CC
Old Elizabethans CC
Old Halesonians CC
Old Swinford and Stourbridge Social CC
Romsley and Hunningdon CC
Worcester Nomads CC.