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about 1 year ago | Community

This week we Focus on the Islington Street programme, which has been one of the most popular Street Cricket sessions that has run in Middlesex. The Project won the No Boundaries Award at the 2018 Chance to Shine Awards.

How are the Street centres run?

The Chance to Shine Street Cricket programme brings cricket to thousands of young people in urban areas across the country. It is a fast-paced version of the game, using the power of cricket to introduce the game to groups who traditionally have never engaged in cricket before. The standout feature of Street sessions in Islington and the other centres across the county, is that the cricket is played in a wide variety of locations. There are weekly sessions running on housing estates, in car parks, schools, parks, and community centres throughout the year, in locations all over Middlesex. Street Cricket sessions usually run for 36 weeks of the year and are for participants aged between 8 to 14 (Youth sessions) and 15 to 24 (Young Adult sessions). Players do not need any equipment to take part as the Middlesex coaches provide it all, and the games are often played with a tape ball – a tennis ball wrapped in tape to give the ball greater weight and distance without the need for all the traditional protective equipment. Thanks to the support of Chance to Shine, every Street Cricket session is free to attend!

What happens at the Islington centre?

The session is run in partnership between Middlesex Cricket, Islington Council, Chance to Shine and the Eritrean society of Islington, and has been running for three years. Through weekly sessions, held outdoors, all year round on a basketball court in Finsbury Park in Islington, the young people turn up every week to learn skills and play matches. Over the years the evolution of the participants and the sessions has been incredible, with sessions going from strength to strength. Some of the original participants from 2018 still attend and have now taken on assistant coach roles, helping teach the new players. The group love their cricket so much that when it snowed prior to one session, they all wore their coats, gloves, and scarves and carried on playing cricket - but only after they had cleared the snow from the court beforehand!

What next?

For more information on the Street Cricket programme in Middlesex, please contact Pete Jones. You can find more information about the sessions, including when and where the sessions are running, on the Street section of our website.

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