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Statement on new £35m Government cricket fund

Our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth reacts to the Government announcement of a significant new investment into grassroots cricket, which we will administer.

5th April 2024

The Government has today announced a £35million investment in grassroots cricket facilities and widening access to the sport in state schools.

We will be administering the fund, which will extend the free, in-school Chance to Shine cricket programme for every child from the inner-city areas of the places in England that will host the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2026. 

The programme, supported by the England and Wales Cricket Board, aims to get over 900,000 young people playing cricket over next five years and will have a particular emphasis on children from lower socio-economic groups, building on existing investment we’ve made.

The funding will also deliver 16 state-of-the-art, all-weather cricket domes in those cities, with each one built in diverse communities where figures have indicated low levels of physical activity.

Following the announcement, our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth issued the following statement.

"The announcement that £35million of new Government funding will be invested into cricket is hugely significant and will help more children and young people from all over England to take up the sport," he said.   

"Positive experiences of PE at school can help develop life-long relationships with sport and physical activity. The expansion of the Chance to Shine programme – that’s opening up cricket to more state schools and ethnically diverse communities – comes at an important time.  

"Presently, too many children and young people are missing out on the benefits of living an active life. This impacts their physical health, but also their mental wellbeing and deprives them of forming social connections with friends and their community.  

"Get Active, the Government’s sports strategy, sets some ambitious targets for participation and rightly states that access to sport and physical activity should be available to everyone regardless of their background or postcode.  

"Cricket appeals to people from a variety of backgrounds and these new facilities, built in places where they are needed most, can help tackle some of the inequalities facing the sport and physical activity sector.  

"We welcome the opportunity to work with the Government and ensure this money is invested where it is most needed, and can make the biggest difference."

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