Based at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, the MCC Foundation is a cricket charity delivering projects across the UK and around the world. It provides free coaching and match play to empower all boys and girls to reach their full potential in the game, to unite and inspire communities, and to promote physical and mental well-being.
They run a network of cricket Hubs that provide free-to-access training and match play to 3,000 state-educated young cricketers at 77 sites across the UK. The Hubs focus on talent: helping promising youngsters who have been engaged through mass participation activities or non-traditional formats to join cricket clubs, develop their hard-ball skills, and access the formal talent pathways.
The Hubs also have a transformational impact off the cricket pitch, helping participants to feel happier and more confident, and improving their focus and performance at school.
”I think I improved in all areas of the game, I now feel very much more confident. It was fun learning about the tactics of cricket
and I now know all the field positions. I also made new friends and teammates with whom we will hopefully win a few games in the summer!”
”Thank you very much and I will try again next year to get into the team.”
The project was largely born out of the existing Hub in place which caters for U14 & U16 boys and girls aged 11-16. There was clearly a need for expansion and a suitable pathway at a lower aged group.
The aim of the project was to provide more coaching to those at the U12 aged group. This would mirror the existing Hub programme by running 9 free indoor sessions (following a trial process) to U12’s. In doing this we were increasing participation and inclusivity as well as help young cricketers progress. The programme was named the MCC Feeder Hub and the boys will then go on to play matches in the summer term.
Since running this the MCC Foundation have commended its popularity and are now looking to expand the existing programme to include an U12 age group. They have been some discussions about Cambridge Hub being a pilot project for this next year.
It has meant two coaches can be employed for a further 1.5 hours each week to take the sessions which is a benefit to them. Links between the Hub have become stronger as we are helping them with their own development targets through running these sessions.
16 x U12’s have been active for 1.5 hours each week helping their health & wellbeing, this has educational benefits. They have become better cricketers due to this and become more confident. We have been able to develop coaches as well through this programme including a former Hub participant who has been a volunteer coach throughout these sessions. He is now taking his coaching qualifications.
We have learnt there is a need for this and possible further expansion. To give some context to its popularity we had 45 U12s trialling for a place in the squad.
When i found out i had got through the MCC cricket hub i was so happy and it boosted my confidence and i felt really excited. I really enjoyed the MCC indoor cricket training sessions. The coaches were very good and really nice, they helped me to improve on my bowling, batting and fielding. I enjoyed the warm ups where we had to run in between the stumps and do other drills. I feel more confident as a cricketer and i came away from each session really happy and wanted to carry on playing cricket for the rest of the day with my mum in our local nets.
My coaches at my club where i play have even noticed a big improvement in my bowling.
I am looking forward to playing matches in the summer and putting all the skills i have improved on and developed into practice. I have also made new friends through this and look forward to playing with them. I was able to make these friends due to the training sessions where we had to group up and discuss tactics and play as teams’.
I have been very worried initially about playing with better players than myself. But the Coaching at MCC was very good and improved my cricket skills at various levels. I feel that my Batting has improved a lot as I am using my feet and moving forwards to play the ball. The drills we practiced have helped me enhance my control and balance when playing backfoot shots. I feel much more confident with my batting ability going into the cricket season.
I also have enjoyed the bowling and I love the competitive element when bowling to good batsman. I feel that the various drills and activities we did have helped improve the accuracy of my bowling. I am still working on minimising the leg side balls I bowl sometimes- but I am pleased to be able to swing the ball on some occasions. I have really enjoyed the training sessions every Sunday and I am looking forward to playing matches with my team very soon. Thank you for this opportunity – I have really enjoyed it.
Everything went well in terms of participation rates, parent satisfaction, standard of coaching and development of coaches. If facility hire permitted, we will look at staging the sessions at a more conducive time but this didn’t inhibit the programme.
As per above the MCC Foundation are looking at using this project as pilot to expand the programme next year. They would then fund an U12 programme moving forwards.
Once this framework has been published, we encourage partners to consider how they can implement the framework to make a real change for disabled people to access physical activity, sport, and leisure in the way they want, when they want, with no barriers placed on them by society.