Warwickshire County Cricket Club has been named as winner of the Unleashing Cricket in the Community Award for the third time in four years at the England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) Business of Cricket Awards (BOCA) at Lord’s, London.
The reward comes again for Warwickshire CCC after its official charity, the Edgbaston Foundation, and the Warwickshire Cricket Board delivered several projects that use cricket to unite diverse communities and enable young people – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to get active through the game.
Central to the campaign has been a partnership with Selco Builders Warehouse, Birmingham City Council’s Health & Wellbeing Service and cricket equipment brand GM to fund 1,000 plastic cricket bats and balls, which have been donated to local children to encourage participation. This initiative also formed part of a scheme in Coventry, with the bats, balls and free coaching sessions provided for refugee children who were recently resettled with their families in the city.
Other programmes included first of its kind ‘glow in the dark’ cricket sessions targeted at increasing the participation amongst secondary school girls and 12 softball cricket festivals, which were designed to increase participation amongst women across Birmingham and Warwickshire.
"Making a difference in young people’s lives is a key objective and it’s been fantastic for the Edgbaston Foundation and Warwickshire Cricket Board to bring the Bears into such great community projects through cricket in 2017."
Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Warwickshire CCC, said: “Making a difference in young people’s lives is a key objective and it’s been fantastic for the Edgbaston Foundation and Warwickshire Cricket Board to bring the Bears into such great community projects through cricket in 2017.
“We’re thrilled to retain our award for continued efforts in this area and we thank all of our community partners, particularly Selco Builders Warehouse, Birmingham City Council, GM and the Positive Youth Foundation for the support in delivering these projects.”
The ECB BOCAs celebrate business excellence across the 18 First Class counties and the MCC, with Warwickshire CCC named as one of eight award winners on the night.
Gordon Hollins, the ECB’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The BOCAs have become a highlight of the county calendar to celebrate the excellence and hard work of the hundreds of staff who play such a crucial part in delivering the success of our professional game.
“The First-Class Counties and the MCC show so much enterprise and innovation in developing stronger links with their existing fan-base, and reaching out to potential new supporters. The BOCAs allow us to celebrate that.”