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16 Apr

YCF - Across Yorkshire in Summer 2015

The summer of 2014 was a memorable one for Yorkshire Cricket both on and off the field. Whilst the 1st XI won their first County Championship for 13 years, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) enjoyed the busiest summer of its short history.

Existing projects such as Cricket in the Classroom, Drax Cup, Kwik Cricket on the outfield and the Grey Fox trophy continued to prosper, seeing the participation of over 8000 individuals across these 4 projects alone. Moreover, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Museum continues to play a key role in upholding the history and heritage of Yorkshire Cricket both at Headingley and on the road through the Mobile Museum.

Above: Cricket in the Classroom is the YCF’s flagship project, with over 4000 primary school children attending each academic year

However, the challenge of engaging with local communities is a constant stimulus. The need to develop new projects and evolve existing schemes that integrate Yorkshire Cricket throughout the county is recognised.

With this target in mind, 2014 saw the YCF launch several new initiatives to engage with communities across the region. Specifically in areas away from Headingley, whose location can limit opportunities to associate and connect with Yorkshire Cricket.

Top Gun, the search for the fastest club bowler in Yorkshire; a project that saw 9 heats take place across the region. From Richmond to Sheffield, Hull to Bradford, club cricketers of all ages, ability and gender were invited to take on the speed gun challenge in a bid to be crowned the fastest in the county.

The extension of the Scarborough Festival inspired a Beach Cricket tournament on South Bay Beach which hosted 8 under 11 teams from the Scarborough Derwent Valley junior cricket league to take part.

As part of National Cricket Week, 600 children from 20 primary schools, 5 each from the North, East, South and West came to Headingley for an Education Day. The children experienced both educational workshops, kwik cricket on the outfield and a chance to meet Yorkshire and England player, Jonny Bairstow.

Below: Education Day was part of National Cricket week with 600 children from around the county enjoying a fantastic day

The planning of the above projects for the 2015 summer is well underway, aiming to be bigger and better than the previous year. However, the ongoing development of the YCF will see even more new schemes packed into the summer schedule.

In conjunction with our new charitable partner, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Yorkshire Cricket will be facilitating health checks during Yorkshire CCC matches at Headingley and educating cricketers, both young and old, professional and amateur about the danger of skin cancer and how the application of sun screen is essential in the battle against the disease.

Furthermore, Taj Butt the YCF’s Community Development Officer will continue to work in and around Leeds and Bradford with their South Asian Communities to advance the opportunities to play cricket in their area, including the re-development of the once iconic Yorkshire CCC ground, Bradford Park Avenue, with the aim to bring it back to its former glory and make it the host of top level cricket once again.

Basing all of its work on 5 key themes; Participation, Inclusion, Health and Wellbeing, History and Heritage and Education, the Foundation’s aim, to provide cricket based education and community programmes across Yorkshire continues to develop, reaching more and more local communities throughout the region.

With the return of old foe, Australia to English shores, the 2015 Ashes is sure to generate increased interest in cricket across the country, giving the YCF a fantastic platform to launch into its summer programme.

Below: The Catch Up Club provides facilitated sessions for people living with dementia and their partners

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