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Last week, when Middlesex Cricket’s batters were breaking records at the Home of Cricket, just a few miles away, over in Clerkenwell, a new generation of aspiring young cricketers were taking guard and emulating the professionals, as Middlesex in the Community (MITC) delivered a cricket session as part of an Easter activity and food programme delivered by The Peel Institute and Bright Futures, on a sunny afternoon in Islington.

Middlesex in the Community’s Managing Director, Angus Fraser, was on hand in Clerkenwell to pass down his wisdom and years of experience in the game, as coaches Sajeewa and Rishabh delivered the session:

“I was thrilled to see the young people enjoying their batting and fielding drills led by coaches”, said Fraser. “This is what MITC is all about - making cricket accessible and inclusive, irrespective of gender, age, background, or personal situation. You rarely see a group of young boys and girls who’ve never played cricket before, take to it like a fish to water as enthusiastically as this bunch have done. This is an interesting time for our sport in general, and we want to do our best to provide life changing opportunities through cricket, work closely with local authorities, and support the phenomenal work of organisations such as the Peel Institute & Bright Futures”.

The Spa Fields Park just across from Three Corners Centre is surely no Lord’s Cricket Ground, but the celebrations you could hear after one of the participants hit a six or took a wicket, which drew cheers from the parents, volunteers, and their teachers would’ve led you to believe otherwise.

“It’s so wonderful to see some of these vulnerable young people who come from such diverse backgrounds come together, have fun and play cricket. We would like to support more such cricket activity as we head into the summer”, said Danielle from Bright Futures, a Council run organisation that offers social care and family support to young people aged 5 to 19 in Islington.

Children and Families Officer at the Peel Institute, Jeana Kidd was delighted that the kids loved every bit of the session, “With the sun shining down on us, who needs a perfect cricket pitch? It’s very important to give young people opportunities at playing different sports and putting smiles on their faces”, she said.

With Middlesex Cricket only recently announcing the formation of its charitable arm, Middlesex In The Community, which aims to deliver cricket-based programmes in the county and raise the level of participation by removing barriers that exist, with Middlesex legend Angus Fraser at its helm, these are exciting times for young people and those wanting to play cricket at a later stage in their lives as a form of physical and social activity.

This comes just as the Prime Minister announced a £35 million investment to the sport over the next 5 years across the country, in a bid to make the sport accessible to over 900,000 young people in state schools and improving grassroots cricket facilities.

Middlesex Cricket would like to thank all at the Peel Institute and Bright Future for their help in setting this up, and we look forward to delivering more programmes with them moving forward.

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