Carpark Cricket improves access to sport
In May 2009, Clubmark accredited Paddock Cricket Club launched a Carpark Cricket scheme where it pitched wickets in Tesco's car park in Huddersfield town centre and invited children between the ages of five and eleven to participate in cricket taster sessions outside of the traditional cricket environment.
The scheme was designed to encourage people who would not otherwise have easy access to sport (in particular cricket) to get involved. At a time when green areas are fairly limited, the concept has the capacity to take sport into the heart of every community.
Paddock ran a series of five Sunday afternoon Carpark Cricket sessions during the summer of 2009. The scheme was a great success, resulting in a boost in general awareness of cricket and the Club throughout the area. Other benefits included a rise in membership for under 9 and under 11 junior sections and increased support from local business, schools and the local authority.
Following the success of the trial at Paddock CC, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and the Co-op backed the programme and more than 250 children in Yorkshire benefited from the scheme over the summer of 2010.
The Club is now eager to share its concept with other cricket clubs, cricket development groups, businesses, local authorities, leisure trusts and school sports partnerships. Paddock CC is keen to ensure it maintains the safety and coaching standards established and to share the know-how it acquired in relation to negotiating use of supermarket and other car parks.
Future plans also include hosting a school Carpark Cricket sports day, piloting an event for adults, extending the scheme to Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds and the addition of tennis to the car park events.
Hugh Goulbourne, Paddock Cricket Club's Community Engagement Secretary adds:
"We're thrilled that Carpark Cricket continues to attract so much interest from children and parents from some of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. It is right at the core of our principles at Paddock CC that we promote participation in sport at a grassroots level. Cricket is a mainstream sport that is followed across all communities throughout the UK, so we also see this project as a means of promoting community cohesion."
For more details of Carpark Cricket visit http://www.carparkcricket.com
Wed, 29/09/2010 - 12:26pm