The Surrey Cricket Foundation (SCF) supported nearly 50,000 people playing cricket across Surrey in 2023, with a record number of women and girls playing the sport in the county. The SCF Impact Report, published today, has highlighted the outstanding growth in grassroots and community programmes.
The Foundation built on the success of the previous year and 48,700 men, women, boys and girls took part in different forms of cricket – a surge of almost 4.5% from 2022 – with nearly 15,000 competitive fixtures through a wide variety of programmes and competitions taking place across Surrey and south London.
2023 was a record-breaking year for women and girls’ cricket, with more girls participating in the Foundation’s All Stars and Dynamos Cricket programmes – which are aimed at introducing cricket to 5-8-year-olds and 8-11-year-olds respectively – than ever before, seeing a sharp increase of 22% from 2022. There was also a steady growth in the number of women and girls’ players, teams, coaches, and matches played in the county.
Weybridge Vandals CC is among the many clubs supported by the SCF that saw impressive progress in their women and girls’ section. After functioning as a hub of All Stars and Dynamos Cricket in Walton-on-Thames all summer, they were able to eventually field their first-ever girls-only XI – achieving a long-sought aim of theirs.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but in the last year, I’d say we’ve gone from it [starting a women and girls’ section] being sort of a hope, a plan, a vision to much more of a reality,” said Graham Hills, the club’s secretary. Their hopes for 2024 are to keep developing interest in women and girls’ cricket and make it sustainable at Weybridge Vandals CC.
Carol Potter, Chair of Trustees at SCF, said: “The focus on women and girl’s cricket has kept Surrey ahead of any other Club in the country when it comes to the number of players and the growth in the number of teams and matches successfully played.”
Some of the other key findings that highlight the vast amount of work done by SCF to grow the game for juniors, club cricketers as well as older people in Surrey, include:
- The Foundation’s work in schools, in partnership with Chance to Shine, saw over 20,000 children receive cricket coaching. For many, this was their first taste of cricket.
- Over 18,000 players featured in the Surrey Junior Cricket Championship, an overall increase of 5% from last year. There was also a 12% rise in the number of girls’ teams participating in the competition.
- More than 1,300 children were reached across all disability projects, including at a dedicated, annual Disability Day at the Kia Oval.
- Nearly £300,000 of grant funding was delivered to cricket facilities in Surrey and south London to develop and enhance club environments.
- 1,335 children were provided free places in the All Stars and Dynamos Cricket programmes and 80 local children enjoyed free activities at The Kia Oval during the Easter holidays as part of the Vauxhall Loop programme.
Chris Coleman, Director of Cricket Participation at SCF, said: “It has been another fantastic year for the charity with much of the growth delivered in key focus areas such as juniors and women and girl’s cricket. We continue to be one of the leading counties in the country!
“In 2024, we will continue to focus not only on growing the game but ensuring that participants have the chance to both engage and succeed regardless of their background.”
Steve Elworthy, Chief Executive Officer at Surrey Cricket, said: “The work done by the Foundation in south London and Surrey is incredibly important for the health of the game. It is impressive to see how they are raising their standards each year and helping make cricket more accessible in the county, especially in the women and girls’ game.
“We are very proud of everyone’s efforts at the Foundation, and the diligence, care, and passion with which they deliver cricket at the grassroots level, at clubs, and in the community.”
To find out more about the SCF, visit http://www.surreycricketfoundation.org/