StreetGames’ mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people through the power of sport. This closely aligns with the vision of Chance to Shine who believe that every child, no matter where they live, should have the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket.

Initially based on providing high quality training interventions, StreetGames and Chance to Shine’s relationship has grown and developed over recent years, now working in tandem to support the delivery of the Chance to Shine Street Cricket programme through the StreetGames network.

Chance to Shine Street is a fast, fun and free format of the game, that supports thousands of young people in disadvantaged communities to play cricket. By using the game to promote social cohesion and new opportunities in areas that are often experiencing high levels of anti-social behaviour and crime, Street also offers an energetic remedy to the lack of clubs and green spaces in diverse inner-city areas.

So far, the following Locally Trusted Organisations across England and Wales have delivered Street cricket sessions, dedicated to engaging 8-15 year olds in disadvantaged communities:

  • Onside Warrington Youth Club
  • Drop Zone - Barrow
  • Spring Mount Youth Club - Barrow
  • NADT (North Allerdale Development Trust) - Silloth
  • Peabody Trust (Thamesmead Sporting Centre) - Bexley
  • Platform Cricket - Greenwich
  • Shudan CIC
  • Cornwall CSP - Redruth
  • Cornwall CSP – Truro/Newquay
  • Love 2 Sports
  • Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures - Ipswich
  • Catch22 Suffolk Positive Futures – Lowestoft
  • Northampton Leisure Trust

During the first 9 months of the programme, 286 young people took part in Chance to Shine Street cricket through StreetGames delivery organisations. 96% of participants are not members of cricket clubs, showing that LTOs are effectively introducing young people to a new sport, or encouraging them to partake in cricket more than they may have before. Around 75% of Street cricket participants do not attend any extra-curricular sport sessions at school, or any sports clubs outside of school, meaning the sessions are going a long way to reducing inactivity among young people in their respective communities. Street cricket sessions have also contributed to increasing female engagement, with 35% of participants being female in comparison to 19% nationally, a figure which is mainly due to the inclusion of female-only sessions.

More notably, only 25% of participants are from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, compared to the programme attracting 80% BAME participants nationally. This shows the effectiveness of StreetGames LTOs having a significant impact in predominantly white lower socioeconomic areas. Also, of the BAME participants at Street cricket sessions, most are of Black African ethnicity, while Street projects have traditionally attracted participants mostly from South Asian backgrounds.

Training

Throughout the programme, Chance to Shine Street Projects have been encouraged to identify young leaders and offer appropriate coach education training to participants who are interested in developing such skills that are appropriate for their age and ability. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, mental health issues have increased and the need for support is clear across all demographics. However, evidence shows that black and minority ethnic communities are at higher risk of mental ill-health and are disproportionately impacted by social detriments associated with mental illness. Of particular relevance to Street cricket’s target audience is the fact that poverty and exposure to racism are both factors suggested to influence the prevalence of mental illness among BAME children and young people.

Birmingham-based Chance to Shine Street cricket coach Imran has been delivering sessions for over five years and has recently undertaken StreetGames’ Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, to tackle the concerns in the South East Asian community. Imran has found the YMHFA course inspiring and informative, and said it has encouraged him to reflect on his own experiences and environment. Imran says he had previously been affected by a teenage suicide close to his family, commenting in particular on the stigma attached to mental health issues and that it is still quite ‘taboo' in South Asian communities. He says that no one knew the victim was struggling, perhaps as a result of mental health not being talked about enough. Inspired, Imran signed up as a YMHFA practitioner and Chance to Shine have fully funded his training, with a view for him to support future training alongside StreetGames tutors and show the value of the course to his peers.

Funded by Chance to Shine, another coach partaking in the course is Siraj, a former participant from Birmingham who now studies at Loughborough University and has delivered sessions for Leicestershire. Siraj says:

‘I am involved in both Leicester and Birmingham Chance to Shine projects, predominantly engaging with young people from South Asian backgrounds. Historically, from personal experience, mental health is very much a taboo subject in the South Asian community and it is rarely discussed. As such, many young people go through life facing mental health issues, but do not have anyone to turn to, nor do they know from whom to seek advice. As a coach, the rapport you can develop with young people is very unique, which often leads to young people feeling comfortable and more able to speak about what’s on their mind. To therefore be trained in Mental Health First Aid, and to be qualified enough to train other coaches in it too, means that through me getting this qualification, we can reach many young people and actually make a measurable difference to their lives. We will be better placed as a workforce to discuss mental health issues, and maybe pick up on signs that all is not well where we otherwise would not have been able to.’

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