Sussex Cricket Foundation Annual Review

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Sussex Cricket Foundation have released their Annual Review for the 2015/2016 year, the opening year as the charitable arm for Sussex Cricket.

The annual review sees the Foundation celebrate its first birthday since being established in November 2015, in a year which the SCF have enhanced the lives of many through their primary vision, ‘Creating Better Futures for All’. The charity focuses on three crucial areas, those being Increasing Participation, Inspiring Education and Improving Health.

Sussex Cricket Foundation Chair, David Bowden, said; “The Foundation’s aims are to Increase Participation, Inspire Education and Improve Health throughout Sussex. It is not just cricketing outcomes that drive us. We also want to maximise the societal benefits that cricket can realise. Whether that’s playing, watching or simply being inspired by cricket, we know that the power of sport, in particular cricket, can deliver positive outcomes beyond the field of play.”

In what has been a very successful opening year, the SCF has seen 40,000 cricketers playing for 245 cricket clubs throughout Sussex, as well as creating opportunities for 16,000 children to become physically active through SCF programmes. Young Leaders in Cricket saw 35 new under 16’s attending local workshops in Umpiring, Groundsmanship and Coaching. All of the Leaders delivered activity in the local community, providing 700 hours of support to local cricket clubs.

Under the Foundation’s Inspiring Education strand, 2016 saw the launch of the new SCF Learning Centre, based at the 1st Central County Ground. This facility has given the Foundation the ability to provide workshops and courses for the community, thus being in a far stronger position to be able to Inspire Education. One prime example of this is the No Boundaries, a mental health employability programme, that has allowed 92 attendees to get back in to employment.

Chief Executive of Sussex Cricket, Rob Andrew said; “The overall mission of Sussex Cricket is ‘to inspire a lifelong passion for cricket in the heart of every community’. The Foundation is the driving force for achieving this and I am delighted with the progress it has made in its first year.

“Sussex Cricket is said to be the oldest professional sports club in the world. Combining this rich heritage and the creation of better futures for all provides a fantastic opportunity to strengthen communities across our County.”

In order to maintain the success that the Sussex Cricket Foundation has had during the first year, they have set their sights towards 2017. Targets include developing more bat and ball engagement across all areas of operation, as well as maximising the social impact of their work by embedding Education, Employability and Skills development outcomes into all areas of SCF.

To download a copy of the Annual Review or to find out how to donate or get involved, visit the SCF website on http://sussexcricketfoundation.co.uk/about-us/.

Chippingdale U13’s clinch West Sussex Area Junior Cricket League

Chippingdale CC’s successful U13 team
Chippingdale CC’s successful U13 team

11 Clubs and a total of 30 teams competed in this winter’s WACA Indoor Junior Cricket League, in matches played at Davisons Leisure Centre, Worthing and the Six Villages Leisure Centre at Westergate.

This gave a tremendous opportunity to young cricketers (from the ages of 10 to 15) from across West Sussex to hone their cricket skills against their peers in a competitive and fun environment.

Worthing were the pacesetters in the younger age groups, winning both the softball and hardball Under 11 tournaments, clinching the latter in a last day thriller against title rivals, Chichester.

Chichester were again the unlucky Runners Up in the Under 13 League, as their hitherto unbeaten record was broken in a final match defeat by Chippingdale.  This completed a hat-trick for Chipps, retaining the U13 Trophy and after a previous success in the 2015 U12 Tournament.

West Chilts B were the victors in the Under 15 League, as two heavy victories, again at the end of the League programme, took them above Stirlands on Net Run Rate.

Carl Tupper, Cricket Development Officer at Sussex Cricket Foundation for West Sussex said; “Since its inception, the West Area Indoor League has gone from strength to strength and has provided hundreds of young cricketers the opportunity to develop during the Winter. I’d like to thank chief organiser for this year, James Mayne for doing a fantastic job and the West Area Cricket Association Working Group, led by Kevin Foster, for their insightful input into improving the league year on year.

Umpire French officiates prestigious MPS India Celestial Trophy on Barns Green tour

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Local cricket umpire and Broadbridge councillor Matt French has enjoyed a tour of India with Barns Green CC. Here he writes about his experiences in Kerala.

“It was early June, when I heard through the grapevine that Barns Green CC were planning a tour to India in mid-February 2017 so I decided to enquire and found out more about it.

The tour was organised by Geoffrey Clements who is a club member and regularly works in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) which is the capital of Kerala state, the furthest south western state in India and well known for its “Backwaters” and rubber industry.

We flew out with Emirates, via Dubai on Thursday, February 17 with 58 people on the tour altogether including families and would return to “Blighty” on Sunday, February 26. There were five days of cricket planned, two games per day, which included two games of Veterans and two games of under-19’s.

All the matches were played at the St Xavier’s College Ground, Thumba. It is a newly established ground in Kerala and has hosted three first-class matches in this year’s Ranji Trophy. The games themselves were rather one-sided to start with as it took time for Barns Green to adjust to the conditions and for the KCA to gauge the standard of Barns Green. However, as the week went on BGCC did improve and managed to win a match. I found the conditions challenging; firstly that I have not umpired an outdoor game since September. Secondly every day the temperatures were 35 plus degrees with high humidity and doing two games of 20 – 25 overs a side each day did require a great deal of stamina.

The pitches were also challenging as, although very green, the ball skidded through and had low bounce.

The highlight for me was to be asked by Kerala Cricket Association to umpire two semi-final matches of MPS India Celestial Trophy, which is the most prestigious club knockout competition in the state. The first fixture was between State Bank of Travancore and AG’s Office Staff Recreation Club. This game was one of the highest quality I have ever had the privilege to umpire all the players had represented Kerala State and 18 of them had played First Class, two had played in the IPL.

It was an incredibly tense match, fast bowling of 85MPH plus and fielders knocking down the stumps from 30 yards long hard hitting and ferocious appealing was all part of the match and kept me very much on my toes. It was a low scoring game with all 20 wickets falling, after setting 140 SBT bowled AGOSRC out for 120 including some magnificent catches on par with any you would see in an IPL match.

The second match was between Muthoot Yamaha Masters Club and Kerala Cricket Association Academy.

This game was equally as intense with The Masters Club setting a small total of 120, the Academy looked on course to win when with 7 wickets down, the non striker was run out, backing up off a free hit after the stumps were smashed out the ground from 30 yards by the mid off fielder, then the opening fast bowler who had just returned, bowled 10 and Jack middle stump and the Academy were all out for 92 off 20.5 overs.

Overall the experience of umpire cricket in a country where everyone is so passionate about the game was fantastic and having the opportunity to umpire a high level trophy matches at the end of my time in India was truly awesome and something I will never forget.

Finally, I would like to thank Barns Green Cricket Club and Kerala Cricket Association for allowing me such an experience.”

Sussex Cricket Foundation appoint Andy Shanks as a Patron

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Andy Shanks, of Uckfield, East Sussex, has been made a Patron of the Sussex Cricket Foundation, the charitable arm of Sussex Cricket. 

This honour is bestowed on individuals who have made major contributions in the development of youth cricket within Sussex, nationally and internationally.

The Sussex Seniors Cricket section, has for several years, sponsored cricket in The Gambia, with Andy Shanks, one of the Sussex Over 70s players, leading the drive to bring cricket to the youngsters of that country and encouraging boys and girls to play cricket across all standards and all ages. His involvement has been exceptional.

Andy first visited The Gambia in 1984 and can remember coming across a game of cricket being played in the capital, Banjul, and dreamt of taking a cricket tour to that country. He achieved this in 2008 when he and the Sussex Seniors visited the country and played cricket against the young Gambians. Considerable quantities of cricket kit, collected by Andy, was distributed amongst the youngsters. The Sussex tourists became involved in a number of coaching sessions in local schools in Banjul, Tujereng, Janyang and Kotu South.

On a return visit in 2010, Andy noticed that the enthusiasm was undimmed although some of the cricket kit and equipment taken out two years previously was getting old. This particularly applied to the cricket mat. As a result of Andy’s enthusiasm, persuasiveness and ability to raise donations in cash and kind, a further large delivery of cricket kit and a new mat was made. He has been responsible for collecting cricket kit from many individuals and clubs throughout Sussex and even from further afield. It is estimated that the value of the cricket kit is well in excess of £100,000. To date, six shipments have been made. The mats are still in good condition and the Flix pitch can be conveyed to the more outlying schools, thus enabling more children to play.

David Bowden, Chair of the Foundation, reported that Andy and the Sussex Seniors have been very successful in establishing a cricketing interest in this West African Country, particularly around the capital, Banjul. The Sussex Seniors, led by Andy, have visited The Gambia on several occasions and have become intensely involved in coaching cricket at the schools and clubs. Andy has gained fame in the Gambian media and in the Gambian Government circles right up to leadership levels.

Andy states that he is delighted that the Sussex Cricket Foundation has honoured him in this way. “The Gambian project has consumed much of the last ten years of my life, however I have gained massive satisfaction in seeing less fortunate people in life being given the opportunity to play the game. I live In hope that one day a top class player will emerge”.  The Sussex Seniors Cricket project will continue.

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