Cricket Collaboration To Help Combat Capital’s Youth Crime

England batsman Ravi Bopara joined guests at the Westway Centre near White City today at the official launch of ‘StreetChance supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports’, a unique partnership to help tackle youth crime in London. The three-year project is being delivered initially across ten London boroughs* and uses cricket to engage young people from a range of backgrounds in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour. The project aims to instill positive values in young people such as self confidence, team spirit and mutual respect, and enhance relationships with others, including schools, police and the wider community. It is a partnership between Chance to shine, Barclays Spaces for Sports, Cricket for Change, the Metropolitan Police Service and Positive Futures; a social inclusion project funded mainly by the Home Office. Joining Ravi Bopara at today’s launch were England women’s cricketer Isa Guha along with actor and cricket fan Colin Salmon. Youngsters from local schools were among those who took part in cricket activities at the venue, which is one of 10 being used in 10 London boroughs in the first year of the project. StreetChance supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports will aim, in the first year, to involve 5,000 young people in and out of school time across London. The in-school activity, based on the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to shine model, provides 25 hours of professional cricket coaching and competition during the summer term. Out of school hours, young people from schools and the local community will take part in a three-hour cricket session every week for 40 weeks each year. The sessions will use Cricket for Change’s “Street 20”, a fast-paced version of tape-ball cricket, where each innings last for 20 balls and games last for just 20 minutes. It is very accessible and can be played with limited equipment, using a tennis ball bound with tape to replicate a cricket ball. Street 20 competitions will take place across London, with a Grand Final in the autumn. Simon Dyson, Executive Chairman of Chance to shine, said: “Chance to shine’s ambition, through this dynamic partnership, is to provide opportunities for young people in inner cities. The initiative will help develop leadership, team spirit and mutual respect among youngsters.” Gary Hoffman, Group Vice Chairman at Barclays, said: “We are delighted to be involved in delivering this project, making cricket more accessible to a large number of youngsters from inner city London. This initiative reflects the broader aim of Barclays Spaces for Sports to transform disadvantaged communities through sport.” Tom Rodwell, Chief Executive Cricket for Change, said: "This project builds on our 25 years plus experience in using cricket to help disadvantaged youth; specifically in 2007 when we started working with the Metropolitan Police in Hackney using Street20 cricket to help engage with young people." Mark Blake, Director of Positive Futures, said: “Positive Futures is all about engaging young people through sports, like cricket, and this project fits perfectly with that ethos. We can try and help young people to become valuable members of their communities.” Sir Paul Stephenson, Deputy Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to making London safer and it is vital that we work with young people to achieve this. This project provides an added opportunity for police officers to meet with young people locally and understand any concerns they may have around crime, crime prevention and safety.” In addition to the core programme, local Positive Futures teams will run self-development projects, with support from school liaison officers, to re-enforce messages about social exclusion, gang membership, drug and alcohol misuse, possession of weapons and remaining in education. * The 10 London boroughs involved in the first year are: Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth. The Lambeth out of school sessions will take place at the Barclays Spaces for Sports site at Lillian Bayliss. In the second and third year, the project will run in 20 and 30 London boroughs respectively. Chance to Shine Chance to Shine is the Cricket Foundation’s campaign to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools. A 10-year programme, it is the single biggest sports development programme ever seen in this country. It aims to educate state school children through cricket by establishing high-quality, sustainable cricket-led educational programmes in a third of all UK state schools by 2015. It aims to raise £25million from private donors, commercial organisations and the general public, which will be matched £ for £ by Government funding. Barclays Spaces for Sports Launched in 2004, Barclays Spaces for Sports is an award-winning community sponsorship scheme and the single biggest investment in grassroots sport ever by a private company in the UK. The programme delivers sustainable sports sites and projects to communities across the UK and overseas. It has already created 200 sustainable sports sites covering a range of sports including cricket, giving more than half a million disadvantaged people the opportunity to benefit. Barclays Spaces for Sports is part of Barclays global community programme which invested £52.4m across 52 countries in 2007. Cricket for Change Cricket for Change has delivered Street 20 cricket over the past two years in projects in Jamaica, Sri Lanka, South Africa and London. Street 20 is a version of cricket developed by Cricket for Change. It has its roots in Pakistan where it is called tape-ball Cricket. The significant features of Street 20 are its speed, its ability to be played almost anywhere with very limited equipment, and its use of a tennis ball bound with tape. Cricket for Change has recently changed its name from the LCCA, which has over 25 years experience of using cricket to help disadvantaged young people. Targeting housing estates in deprived areas in London, Street 20 has been supported by Metropolitan Police units, including the Tactical Support Group (TSG) and Hackney Police. Positive Futures Positive Futures is a Home Office-funded national sports and activity-based social inclusion programme, which is delivered by the charity Rainer Crime Concern. The programme has 123 projects across the UK and works in some of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Every project provides sporting and activity opportunities for young people aged between 10 and 19, giving them the chance to develop both personally and socially. Each project adapts its programme of activities in line with the needs of its young people – with a focus on engaging those young people who are marginalised within the community.Rainer Crime Concern is the interim name for the youth charity Rainer and crime prevention charity Crime Concern which joined forces on 1 July 2008, and work for more than 34,000 young people living in more than 150 communities across the UK. The Metropolitan Police Service The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to working with young people to make London safer. This project follows MPS involvement with other sports initiatives such as Kickz and Met-track which provide an added opportunity for police officers to meet with young people regularly and talk to them about crime and safety issues. Through investment in such projects the MPS aims to further develop confidence and trust between police and young people.