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MIDDLESEX'S HARINGEY YOUTH STREET PROJECT WINS CHANCE 2 SHINE PROJECT OF THE YEAR AWARD

MIDDLESEX'S HARINGEY YOUTH STREET PROJECT NAMED AS CHANCE TO SHINE'S PROJECT OF THE YEAR

At last night's annual Chance 2 Shine awards event, we were proud and honoured that Middlesex's Haringey Youth Street Project was named as the Project of the Year.

The event, held in the Nursery Pavilion at Lord's, saw Chance 2 Shine recognise and celebrate the great work being done by county cricket boards in delivering tailored cricket projects to youngsters around the country. Being named as the prestigious Project of the Year award winner is fantastic recognition of a project that delivers cricket into one of Middlesex's inner-city boroughs that has historically struggled to provide opportunities to young Londoners to get active through playing sport.

The Haringey Youth Street Project was established in late summer of 2022 after its Chestnuts Park venue had successfully run a Dynamos cricket programme earlier in the summer for youngsters in the local area. With a strong desire from participants and their parents for the youngsters to continue playing cricket, and the nearest recreational club some 35 minutes away from the area on public transport, Middlesex's Lead Coach, Mikey Thompson, with the supports of parents, negotiated the use of the outdoor venue for the ongoing project in the late summer, and also use of the indoor facility there, to ensure the sessions could continue to thrive throughout the winter months.

Thompson, and his fellow Middlesex Participation Team member Quentin Beningfield, have successfully run the project since, with the support of parents, who remain actively involved in the sessions, which now regularly has over 30 children attending every Saturday - a number that is still increasing as a result of the popularity of the project within the local community.

The sessions have proven hugely successful is delivering so much more that just cricket skills for the youngsters involved every week, who are growing in confidence, building new friends, developing team spirit and learning a real sense of togetherness and purpose in doing something they love. The benefit to the local community has been incredible.

Speaking of the success of the project, Mikey Thompson commented:

"This area here (Haringey) it doesn't get much, and for us to be able to come into this area and do something like this is amazing."

"The barriers that these guys face is not being able to go outside. Some of them live in high-rise flats and when you go into these high-rise areas you might see signs saying 'no ball sports', so for us to have an area like this where they can come here and play cricket, or any sports at all, not only inside school but outside as well, is amazing."

Quentin Beningfield added:

"Every week we have more and more children joining the sessions which is really quite exciting

"As far as self-confidence is concerned, every week the youngsters are gaining in confidence and I think the camaraderie, the teamwork and the team spirit is excellent. They really enjoy being together and really look forward to Saturday morning and we can clearly see that."

Middlesex's Participation Manager, Pete Jones, commented:

"I am really pleased for Mikey, Quentin and everyone involved with the Haringey Youth Street project at Chestnuts Park that they won the Project of the Year at the Chance to Shine Awards.

"Projects are successful when the triangle of people work together; parents, players, coaches. Talking to the parents and the participants, they really love the session and for many of them, this has been their first experience of cricket and when they talk about it, all they are doing is smiling all the time and that is the power that sport and cricket in particular has."

Our thanks go to Chance to Shine for the following video, which was shown at last night's awards event, which perfectly showcases how popular and successful Middlesex's Haringey Youth Street Project is proving to be in the counties inner London borough of Haringey:


Find out more about Chance To Shine at www.chancetoshine.org and see the work of other award winners here.

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