Wicketz Yorkshire aims to make a lasting positive effect on those living in high deprived areas in Yorkshire, using Cricket as the hook. The project gets children off the streets and into cricket as well as working on community cohesion through a number of different activities.
Wicketz, a national programme funded by Lord Taverners and delivered in Yorkshire (Leeds & Bradford) by the YCF, is a community cricket programme targeting young people aged 8-16 living in areas of deprivation and hard-to-reach groups, without access to sporting opportunities and the benefits sport can bring. By establishing sustainable community cricket hubs, we provide year-round weekly cricket sessions with a focus on developing crucial life skills.
Wicketz is more than just cricket! We use the sport for social development by hosting workshops on social issues, which are based on the needs of each community group. Sessions include tackling some hard-hitting subjects like gangs, knife crime and violence whilst also teaching children about diet, nutrition and cultural identity.
Wicketz has also helped to upskill people local to the hubs, by putting individuals on level one and two coaching courses, as well as offering volunteers who help with the sessions CPD opportunities, such as sports leadership courses.
This year, 12 Wicketz participants from Bradford attended the yearly Wicketz residential to take part in two days of cricket matches, games and educational workshops.
Since the project began in just December 2017, the impact on participants has been huge, with 80% of participants indicating that the sessions have improved their individual confidence and 70% highlighting they have made new friendships with other children from different areas in their local communities. A harsh reality is that a huge barrier for people participating in sport in these areas is the cost associated with it. So Wicketz is free and always will be!