Sixth Form Cricket Programme continues to grow - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Surrey CCC’s State School Sixth Form Cricket Programme has seen a 266% increase in applicants for the upcoming academic year, partnering with five more state schools in Surrey and south London.

In 2024/25, the Club will be working with eight state schools across the county, offering more than 70 places to students pursuing their sixth-form studies – a 150% increase in places from the 28 provided in the first year.

In addition to the three initial partner schools – George Abbot School in Guildford, Lilian Baylis Technology School in Kennington, and Saint Francis Xavier in Clapham – Harris Academy Schools in Merton, Purley, and Sutton, as well as Harris Girls’ Academy and Harris Boys’ Academy in East Dulwich, have joined the programme.

Launched in early 2023, the programme offers young people access to high-quality cricket coaching as well as strength and conditioning training while completing their sixth-form academic studies.

The programme also supports students in learning more about cricket as a business by offering a host of employability workshops and certified courses. Such a curriculum provides them with opportunities to acquire vocational and life skills in the areas of hospitality, coaching, media, groundskeeping, and more.

More than 16 students in the 2023/24 cohort, which began last September, have recently completed their Support Coaching Course, and have been gaining experience as volunteer cricket coaches with the Surrey Cricket Foundation as well as assisting the delivery of cricket sessions in the Ben Hollioake Learning Centre at The Kia Oval for local primary school children.

The spring of 2024 will see the existing cohort enrol in level one of the Grounds Maintenance Association course, which includes a work experience session with Lee Fortis, Surrey CCC’s Head of Grounds, and his team at The Kia Oval.

The interest in the programme has been budding, with 143 applicants applying for the upcoming school year. More than 30% of the new applicants were on the Surrey Talent Pathway programme previously, showcasing that the quality of cricket training combined with employability-in-cricket workshops has attracted the attention of young people who potentially envision a professional career in the sport.

“I am enjoying the scholarship immensely. It has helped me improve not only as a cricketer but as a person,” says Ilse Bishop, one of the students from the George Abbot cohort. “My batting has already improved massively as has my bowling and fitness. I am thankful to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the rest of the scholarship holds!”

“Since the trial, I have made new friends within the program who push me to try my best… This opportunity has allowed me to explore a potential career that I didn’t think would be possible,” adds Naomi.

The programme has also resonated with young people from a wide range of communities, with over 45% of students from Year 1 and applicants from Year 2 coming from a diverse ethnic background. All the students from Black communities as well as South Asian communities, who trial with or join the programme, have also been connected with the ACE Programme to give them further opportunities to take part in the sport. The charity has also recently helped in delivering trials and training sessions in East Dulwich.

Judy Wallis, Sixth Form Programme Lead at Surrey CCC, said: “It has been an encouraging start for the programme in the first year and the students have responded enthusiastically to the training sessions and activities. Throughout the programme, the groups have bonded well and developed a real sense of friendship and community.

“We are extremely proud of this programme and the positive impact it is having on the students. We will continue working hard towards growing its horizons, improving our delivery, and trying to reach as many young people as possible in the coming future.”

Steve Elworthy, Chief Executive Officer at Surrey CCC, commented: “It is an incredibly important initiative for us at Surrey and we’re delighted to see that the programme will be expanding next year, helping support more young people from state schools to get access to high-quality cricket training and learning about opportunities in the business of cricket.

“I’d like to welcome Harris Academy Schools in the county to the Surrey Family as well as thank Lilian Baylis, St Francis Xavier, and George Abbot for their continued support in allowing us to offer some of these brilliant opportunities.”

Judy will be holding an online presentation on 6 March, explaining how the programme works and how applicants can apply. You can register your interest here.

Alternatively, to get more information on how you, or your school, could get involved email her at