The biggest residential festival in the history of the Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme took place at Repton School where nearly 150 young people from projects across the country took part in a three-day residential consisting of competitive cricket, coaching masterclasses and vital life-changing workshops.
The Lord’s Taverners’ Wicketz programme was initially aimed at hard-to-reach youngsters aged 8-16 within areas of high deprivation across the UK, using cricket as a hook to engage young people who live in communities where there are few opportunities to play the game regularly.
This year Wicketz went from strength to strength with projects launching in Hull and South Wales and over 117 workshops delivered nationally, engaging over 1,700 disadvantaged young people, 69 per cent of which are from a BAME background.
Luton-based participant Raza Ramzan said, “What I like about Wicketz is the community spirit! Everyone comes together from different backgrounds, different ethnicities and plays together. No arguments, no nothing, we just play and have fun.”
Top-quality, high-energy cricketing masterclasses formed the backbone of the activity on the second day in Derbyshire, with the former England Cricket head coach Peter Moores and former Lancashire batsman Karl Brown leading fielding and batting clinics respectively.
For the firt time, the Royal Navy put the boys through their paces with assault courses, team building exercises, leadership and communication drills and talks on healthy eating.
LT CDR Suzanne Lynch said, “We were delighted to be invited here today to work with these youngsters and get them to work on working as a team and cooperation. We’re working on showing them that they’ve got an active voice and they’re people that we should be listening to. When we serve overseas, we know that our country supports us, so it’s lovely to work with community groups who are now flourishing because of what Wicketz is giving them.”