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Howzat! Cricket coaching sessions unite rural communities

Youngsters and their families have been bowled over by cricket coaching sessions which have brought isolated rural communities together.

Thanks to funding from The William Colton Youth Sports Fund, The Belvoir Bees Junior Coaching Programme was able to run coaching sessions at four Leicestershire venues over the summer of 2018 and attracted a total of 129 youngsters aged 4 to 11.

The cricket coaching programme tackled the issues of rural isolation and the lack of facilities and services available to youngsters in the area. It also helped build stronger communities and social ties with families and volunteers encouraged to get involved in the cricket training sessions which ran for 90 minutes per week for 20 weeks during the summer.

Youngsters benefited from taking part in active and healthy pursuits during the summer break from school and for the adults recruited as trainers and volunteers it offered a chance to improve their life skills and opportunities.

The organisation was founded through the work of Phil O’Brien, Stephen Henderson and Darren Bicknell after Phil was unable to find a cricket club near his home in Knipton his 8-year-old son back in 2006. Phil decided to get a junior initiative underway. And BCCT was born.

The charity’s focus is on the development of young people,enhancing their life skills through sport in the community and educational activities involving sport, heritage and countryside.

In addition, the club works with local adults to enable them to help in their communities, training them to assist with cricket and countryside projects. As well as the Belvoir Bees programme the club runs a Cricket and Countryside School Days, Special Needs Project, Teach Cricket in School’s & Volunteer Programme.

If you’d like to support local charities and groups by setting up your own fund with us, please contact Katy Green at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804 or email: katy.green@llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk