Last week The PHA Group visited Lords, the home of cricket, for the StreetChance Achievement Awards 2013.
The Cricket Foundation event, hosted atop the Mound Stand Roof Terrace at the historic stadium, celebrated the tremendous work done in a number of local communities to encourage young people to socialise together through regular games of cricket.
The initiative, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service and County Constabularies in cities across England, has supported more than 8,000 participants in the past year, using cricket to engage young people from a range of backgrounds in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour.
More than 100 participants from around the country were in attendance at the event, hosted by The Football League Show presenter and BBC cricket journalist Manish Bhasin.
Coaches, teams and individuals were recognised with special awards, while those who had excelled in a number of areas were presented with trophies by cricket legend and Ashes winner Ashley Giles.
Wasim Khan MBE, the first British born Pakistani to play in England, also shared his experiences of how he managed to develop from a street cricketer into a professional.
Throughout the night the crowd, which included representatives from Barclays’ Spaces for Sport programme, were wowed with stories of great determination and development amongst the participants.
Having recently given a talk on sports PR to the Young Ambassadors from the StreetChance programme at Oval Cricket Ground, as part of our partnership with Cricket for Change, it was great to hear firsthand the positive impact the initiative is having in urban areas of the country – using cricket as a way to give young people throughout Britain a better outlook and greater opportunity.
Everybody had a great evening in the warm London sunshine, united by a mutual love of cricket. If only we’d been able to get onto the hallowed turf to bowl a few overs!