A community programme has been launched to get more Wearsiders into cricket.
Durham County Cricket Board in partnership with national cricket charity Chance to Shine has opened its Street Cricket project in Sunderland.
The programme aims to engage young people in areas of socio-economic disadvantage through fun, fast-paced street cricket format.
The project is set to engage Sunderland’s South Asian community through a number of accessible and inclusive opportunities, driven by partnering delivery organisation Young Asian Voices (YAV).
The scheme launched with a girls only session at Sans Street Youth & Community Centre, in Hendon.
The session is one of three weekly cricket offers that the project will consist of.
In addition, the Cricket Board and YAV will deliver two junior mixed training sessions and will gradually progress to competition opportunities and young adults’ leagues.
The project will be in place for the next three years, aiming to create a link with a group that has not been engaged with by the Cricket Board before.
The engagement with the city’s South Asian Community will be led by YAV – an established charity whose objective is to provide key opportunities and services that benefit the local community and in particular the young members of the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.
Chance to Shine Street started in 2008 with a pilot of 10 London projects and has since grown to deliver around 165 projects and has engaged more than 10,000 young people nationally.
Chance to Shine project manager at Durham Cricket Board Steven Bell said: “For a number of years now we’ve had the desire to engage with our South Asian communities and this project will give us the reach needed to make this happen.
“Through our partnership with YAV we will be able to communicate with these communities better and get an insight in the offers they want.
“For us it is massively important to create a provision that is driven by the community itself and YAV will advocate this well, as they already engage on a number of other initiatives with the young members of the BME community in Sunderland. “YAV have seen a high demand and interest for cricket but due to affordability, accessibility and other barriers, few members of their communities are able to access cricket offers.
“We believe that Chance to Shine Street will address that demand and we want the project to create an inclusive environment where these communities get together and cricket becomes a vehicle for social cohesion.”
More information on Chance to Shine Street is available at chancetoshine.org/street