Wednesday, May 29, 2024

MCC and ECB funding helps record numbers take part in MCC Foundation Hubs Programme

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Photo Credit: Marylebone Cricket Club

MCC’S CHARITABLE ARM, MCC FOUNDATION HAS ANNOUNCED THAT RECORD NUMBERS OF SECONDARY STATE SCHOOL CHILDREN ARE TAKING PART IN THE MCC FOUNDATION NATIONAL HUBS PROGRAMME THANKS TO A BOOST IN FUNDING.

The news that 4,700 young people are engaged in this year’s programme, up from 3,200 in 2023, which includes a 53% increase in female participants, was revealed at a special event at the Urban Cricket Centre in Leyton attended by England star and MCC Foundation Ambassador Maia Bouchier.

Bouchier took part in a cricket session with players from the Leyton boys’ and girls’ hubs to launch the start of this year’s MCC Foundation National Hubs competition which will see hubs teams across the country, including Leyton, battle it out for the chance to play at Lord’s, on the main Ground, later this summer.

Essex and London Spirit wicketkeeper Adam Rossington also attended the launch, and took part in Q&A session with participants, providing an insight into the career of a professional cricketer.

Launched in 2012, the MCC Foundation Hubs project provides a free 10-week cricket coaching programme between January and April at hubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland aimed at state-educated children aged between the ages of 11 and 16. Hubs across the country are then invited to play in a National Hub Competition which gets underway in May with the boys’ and girls’ finals played at the Home of Cricket in July.

Over 20,000 young people have taken part in the programme since 2012, but a recent £1 million injection of funding over 2 years from MCC and ECB has seen 49 new hubs created across the country this winter including hubs in Aberdeen, Huddersfield and Plymouth bringing the total number of hubs to 126 and increasing overall participation by 1,500. It is hoped a further 24 hubs will be created next year as the programme looks to grow even further.

A number of the new hubs are focussed in urban areas like Leyton where access and opportunities to play cricket have traditionally been limited. The programme links players to the talent pathway by working with coaches from each of the 18 counties across England and Wales.

Over 400 players have accessed the talent pathway from the programme since 2022, including one previous Hub participant from Leyton who has now progressed into the Essex County Age Group Pathway, has been selected for England under 17’s Action Indoor Cricket team and has recently returned to the Leyton Hub to be part of the coaching team.

Dr. Sarah Fane, Director, MCC Foundation, said:

“We are already seeing the huge impact the investment from MCC and ECB is having on giving more young people from state school backgrounds the opportunity to access and play cricket and the chance to develop into the talent pathway.

“Nowhere is this more evident than in Leyton where the number of young people taking part has doubled over the last year and the relationship with Essex has seen young players develop into their talent pathway.”

“IT’S BRILLIANT TO SEE SO MANY GET THESE OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH THE MCC FOUNDATION HUBS PROGRAMME.”

MCC Foundation Ambassador Maia Bouchier, added:

“It’s great to see a big increase in young people participating in the programme, especially the number of girls taking part. We’re seeing a huge growth and interest in the women’s game with England playing in front of sell-out crowds and competitions like The Hundred.

“More and more girls are getting into cricket which is great, but we’ve got to make sure the opportunities are there for girls from all backgrounds to have a chance to play the game and potentially progress through the talent pathway. It’s brilliant to see so many get these opportunities through the MCC Foundation Hubs programme.”

The MCC Foundation National Hub Competition gets underway next month with both the boys and girls finals taking place at Lord’s on Saturday 20 July.

MCC FOUNDATION

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