Dynamos Cricket Intros hit the ground running in Surrey in its first year, seeing over 600 schoolchildren register to play cricket free of cost in under-served communities across south London.
Funded by Sky and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the Surrey Cricket Foundation (SCF) ran the pilot programme throughout 2023, delivering free-of-cost Dynamos sessions to young people in and around south London who had not had the chance to play cricket before. The success of the programme has ensured that it has received further funding and will be renewed for 2024.
This initiative aimed to provide more opportunities for children aged 8-11 in under-served communities to play cricket, specifically focusing on children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and those receiving free school meals.
Another objective of the programme was to have in place a dedicated coach to try and get young people excited about the sport and organising sessions in areas that have not previously been targeted. Sessions took place in various locations, including housing estates, community halls, local parks, Multi-Use Games Areas, and mosques.
In its inaugural year, the Dynamos Intros project enjoyed an excellent response, providing valuable opportunities for children to engage in physical activities as well as raising awareness of cricket in new areas and encouraging more children to get involved in the sport.
“My son thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the cricket programme. The team of coaches were exceptional. They were not only knowledgeable and skilled, but also incredibly fun and enthusiastic,” was the feedback given by a participant’s parent. “I am thrilled to share that my son has developed a newfound love for cricket, and it has quickly become his favourite sport,” they added.
The sentiment that the programme was having a positive impact on the participants’ lives resonated throughout the cohort. 90% of the parents confirmed that their children would like to continue their cricketing experience. Furthermore, nearly 60% of the parents also said that playing cricket brought about a rise in their children’s confidence.
Chris Coleman, Director of Cricket Participation at SCF, said: “Dynamos Intros has been an instant hit in the local community, with many of the participants getting the opportunity to pick up a cricket bat and ball for the first time in their lives. We’re delighted that it will be running next year as well!
“I would also like to thank our partners, Sky and the ECB, for their continued support in helping us deliver this fantastic programme and work towards expanding the boundaries of cricket.”