Former England cricket captain Mike Gatting OBE and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Europe have urged MEPs to help bring communities together by promoting increased participation in the sport throughout the European Union.
Mr Gatting was one of a number of key names in international cricket development who joined ICC Europe executives for a special meeting with members of the European Parliament Cricket Intergroup (EPCI) in Brussels on Tuesday 26 March 2013.
During the summit chaired by British MEP Sir Robert Atkins, ICC Europe outlined its ongoing mission to encourage more young people to get involved in cricket in EU countries which are not traditionally associated the sport.
MEPs also learned how unique cricket projects are helping to unite divided communities around the world in countries such as Rwanda.
Nick Pink, Regional Development Manager for ICC Europe, said: “Sport has the potential to change lives and we have seen how pioneering projects across Europe and beyond are enabling young people to discover new horizons through cricket.
“Our aim is to promote community cohesion throughout the European Union by boosting participation in the game, and in order to do this we need as much assistance as possible from both the European Parliament and governments of member states. Our meeting with the European Parliament Cricket Intergroup was very productive and we were pleased to receive such a supportive reception to our project goals from EPCI members.”
ICC Europe’s meeting with the EPCI follows the launch of a new initiative aimed at introducing cricket to non-traditional groups in countries where the sport is still developing.
‘Street 20 Europe’ is a partnership between ICC Europe and Cricket for Change which centres on social inclusion to break down racial, religious, social and economic barriers, bringing a modified form of the game based on Twenty20 to inner-city communities in countries such as France, Germany, Greece, Finland, Spain and the Netherlands.
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