Tens of thousands of boys and girls have played cricket for the first time this summer thanks to All Stars Cricket.
More than 37,000 kids aged five to eight took part in year one of the programme in over 1,500 centres across England and Wales.
The programme has successfully introduced new families to the game with over seven in ten of those who signed their kids up being new to their local club. Parents joined in the fun, with 70% of sessions receiving parental support.
Over 1,500 kids have had their chance to meet their heroes or play on the pitch during the international summer thanks to the money-can’t-buy opportunities that All Stars offers. Youngsters have quizzed the England teams – both men and women – in the build-up to games, practised on the same pitch and enjoyed All Stars sessions at international venues during the international intervals.
The programme is also introducing a new generation of coaches. Three-quarters (74%) of the 4,136 All Stars Activators are new to the game, which equates to around 3,000 new coaches to inspire the next generation.
Matt Dwyer, ECB Director of Participation and Growth said: “Through All Stars Cricket, tens of thousands of boys and girls have played, enjoyed and benefited from getting involved in cricket for the very first time.
“This is a first but very significant step in our plans to grow the game and get a bat and ball in the hands of more people across England and Wales. We have ambitious plans for All Stars to give more children a great first experience and make sure this starts a lifelong association with the game.
“It’s really pleasing to see parents being introduced or brought back to the game first through their kids getting involved, then playing, volunteering or supporting their local club.”
Parental feedback has been overwhelming positive. One Mum, Lynda Ormandy, said: “Our twin boys have found a sport that they love through All Stars and I have taken up women’s softball cricket after my husband and I both volunteered at their weekly All Stars sessions.
“It has been a great scheme and we are all still playing as a family – we even took Grandad out this weekend and got him playing too! Three generations on the pitch together having a brilliant time. It is safe to say it has actually changed our life and our leisure time in a very lovely way.”
Paula Jones acknowledged the impact All Stars has had on her son: “Cricket has played a huge part in building Reece’s confidence. He has joined a couple of different sports clubs in the past but never committed. I came across All Stars and I thought it was a brilliant idea, not only to get children into cricket but for parents like me who wouldn’t have approached a club directly. Reece has made lots of friends and is playing matches on Sunday mornings. My husband and I love watching him train. Happy child equals extremely happy parents!”
Take a look back at the first year of All Stars Cricket, courtesy of our All Stars kids and parents here.
To find out more about All Stars Cricket and to register your interest for next year visit allstarscricket.co.uk
Report courtesy of the ECB