MICKLEHURST AND Stayley cricket clubs have both signed up to All Stars Cricket, a nationwide initiative to attract boys and girls aged between five and eight to the game.
They were among the first clubs to join in the hope of building on already successful junior programmes that they hope will flourish even more in the future.
The England and Wales Cricket Board is aiming to attract 50,000 youngsters to the game through the grassroots programme that starts in May.
All Stars Cricket will be delivered through local cricket clubs and centres across England and Wales throughout the summer, giving five to eight year olds their first experience of the game.
Parents can register their children to take part via WWW.ALLSTARSCRICKET.CO.UK and entering their postcode to find the nearest local club.
After signing-up, boys and girls will have a cricket ‘back-pack’ delivered to their door with a bat, ball and everything they need to try the game for the first time.
They will then start an eight-week programme at their local participating centre, with the emphasis placed firmly on learning how to play the game in a fun, safe and inclusive environment. Children will also learn the social development skills that team sport brings.
Each session of the programme, that costs £40, developed with input from Andrew Strauss and the England performance team – will give children the basic skills they need to develop a lifelong love of cricket.
ECB will also give participating centres free All Stars kits, volunteer training and support via a central marketing campaign, celebrating ‘Big Moments’ as children take their first steps in the game.
The programme reflects ECB’s strategic framework for growing the game at every level.
Former England captain and All Stars Cricket ambassador Michael Vaughan said: “I started playing cricket at my local club and have seen first-hand how important it is to introduce kids to our sport in a fun way.
“As a parent, I’ve also seen how tough it can be to get kids interested in sport especially given the amount of activities competing for their time. Finding a way for cricket to appeal to kids and to get them active is more important than ever.
“We are bringing cricket to the front door of kids and parents across England and Wales. I can’t wait to see the positive impact this will have.”
The All Star Cricket sessions at Micklehurst are each Thursday, starting May 19 between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Stayley’s are on Friday from May 20 between 6pm and 7pm.