Lycamobile Sponsor 'Chance To Shine Street'

What is the Chance to Shine Street Youth programme?

  • free to take part in
  • made up of weekly sessions in the evenings and weekends, all year round
  • held at community venues, such as leisure centres, sports halls and caged areas around housing estates and parks
  • aimed at eight to 15 year-olds
  • based on an  exciting six-a-side format using a tape-ball – a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape
  • inclusive and accessible with little equipment required and everyone getting a chance to bat, bowl and field

A new partnership between Chance to Shine and Lycamobile aims to get children in some of the country's most underprivileged areas off the streets and actively playing cricket.

Lycamobile is to sponsor the youth element of 'Chance to Shine Street', the cricket charity's youth programme formerly known as Streetchance.

And as part of the partnership, Lycamobile will become headline sponsors of the Chance to Shine awards which reward and recognise players and coaches involved in the programme.

This initiative was launched in 2008 to bring cricket to young people in urban areas which lack green spaces and traditional cricket clubs.

Chance to Shine also uses the scheme to promote social cohesion and connect young people from different backgrounds.

Former England captains Alec Stewart and Mike Gatting attended an event at The Kia Oval to launch the event along with England and Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who is a keen supporter of the new partnership.

"Chance to Shine Street can help massively by giving kids access to somewhere to play cricket," he said.

"They just want a place to play cricket, they don’t care how it’s done and sometimes those kids don’t have the opportunity in inner cities.

Chance to Shine Street - more than just cricket

Ahwais Khan, 16, from Saltley in Birmingham is one of many examples of individuals who have benefited from the programme.

Ahwais was a handful for his teachers, disturbing lessons and mixing with the wrong crowd. Since he started on the Street programme his behaviour has improved and so has his grades. He has now moved away from his old circle of friends.

"Now I see them hanging around on the streets," he says

"Some have got in trouble with the police for knife crime. That would definitely be me if I hadn’t got involved in the Street programme."

"Tapeball cricket is so simple: get a tennis ball, tape it up, let’s play cricket. It speeds up the game, it’s exciting and I used to love it as a kid.

"It’s brilliant from Lycamobile to back the street programme, it’s very kind and I’m sure they’ll benefit from the partnership."

The tie-up with Lycamobile comes soon after Chance To Shine launched the 'Second Innings' appeal in January 2015, aiming to raise £25 million to reach more than one million more young people in schools and communities by 2020.

"Chance to Shine Street is fast-paced, hard-hitting, loud, fun and open to anyone. It has a proven record of attracting young people, supporting their development and keeping them engaged in the game," Chance to Shine Chief Executive Luke Swanson said.

"This partnership builds on Lycamobile’s commitment both to cricket and to connecting communities: together we can further broaden the reach of the game, bringing its benefits to many more young people in some of our most deprived communities."

Subaskaran Allirajah, Chairman of Lycamobile added: "We have always had strong ties to cricket with our sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club and UK Test Match Grounds, so to support Chance to Shine and their ‘Street’ programme is a perfect synergy for us.

"Lycamobile’s mission is to keep communities connected wherever they are in the world which is at the core of the Chance to Shine work - something we are very proud to be associated with."

Chance to Shine youth projects are currently run in eight areas - Birmingham, Bristol, Dewsbury, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool London and Manchester.

Ravi Bopara and Chance to Shine Street participants at The Kia Oval

Ravi Bopara and Chance to Shine Street participants at The Kia Oval
©Chance to Shine

© Cricket World 2015