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Belfast 'Try Cricket Days'

Richard White

A series of 'Try Cricket' days for local schools took place in Belfast, organised by the Northern Cricket Union Development Team in partnership with Belfast City Council, through the Every Body Active 2020 programme.

The Every Body Active 2020 is a four year lottery funded programme aimed at getting people more active more often through sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland.

Sport Northern Ireland has invested £6.2 million in the 11 District Councils across Northern Ireland to help increase quality opportunities for targeted groups including:

  1. Women and girls (specifically aged 14-25);
  2. People with a disability; and
  3. Those living in areas of greatest social need.

This programme included cricket clubs from across the City of Belfast: CIYMS, CSNI, Cregagh (East Belfast) Cliftonville and Academy (North Belfast), Instonians (South Belfast), and Woodvale (West Belfast). The intention of the programmes was to improve co-operation between cricket clubs and schools within the Belfast area.  

Former Belfast City Council Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, attended and supported one of the events at Avoniel Leisure Centre. Belfast City Council provided t-shirts, medals, certificates and trophies at each event.

Around 600 children from across the City participated in the Try Cricket days. Club coaches had delivered cricket sessions within their local schools which led to the 'Try Cricket' days. The participants enjoyed various developmental skills competitions and challenges.

Callum Atkinson (NCU Cricket Development Officer) speaking about the legacy of the 'Try Cricket' events said, 'Belfast cricket clubs are delivering more cricket to their identified Primary Schools, trying to improve junior membership at their respective clubs, andimproving the awareness of cricket in the Belfast Area. This couldn't have happened without the assistance of club coaches and the Belfast City Council's funding and resources. Any opportunity to foster links between clubs and schools is crucial in the search for first time cricketers. It is hoped that the 'Try Cricket' days might unearth a future Paul Stirling or Gary Wilson who have contributed so much to NCU and Irish Cricket'.

If you would like further information on the Every Body Active 2020 programme, contact Callum Atkinson (NCU Cricket Development Officer)