Why Yorkshire Cricket Foundation
Who are we?
Established towards the end of 2018, the Walking Cricket Project has given retired or semi-retired individuals an invaluable opportunity to play a sport that was previously inaccessible to them. As part of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, the Walking Cricket sessions are run in collaboration with the University of the Third age (U3A) charity. The project started with its first Walking Cricket team in Barnsley which was and still is coordinated by Mac McKechnie. Their first match was played in January 2019 and since then, there have been requests from cities all across Yorkshire to have teams set up in their local area. Our project has not stopped growing and we can now proudly say that even Joe Root, captain of the England cricket team, is even endorsing our project (see image below).
Why sponsor us?
The growth of this project has been unstoppable, enabling senior individuals to socialize, improve fitness and enjoy each others company. Many of our participants have been able to create new friendships and have restarted a hobby they thought they could never enjoy again.
Aside from the humanitarian benefits of supporting our project, we also offer great ways to boost your company's reach. As our project is running under the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, who organize a range of county-wide community projects relating to cricket, we have a wide reach across all social media platforms. This means we can offer amazing visibility for your company, especially across Yorkshire and can guarantee a return of investment on your sponsorship.
Some of our opportunities include sponsoring the kit, equipment and various venues/hubs for Walking Cricket across Yorkshire. Furthermore, as the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation is the charitable arm of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, we offer volunteering opportunities for various community-focussed projects across the entire county.
Where we are now
There are currently 11 Walking Cricket Teams across Yorkshire with around 240 participants. The Teams are located in Barnsley (1st and 2nd Team), Hull, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Rotherham, Whitby Whaler, Sheffield, Leeds and Harrogate. The teams have one training session a week, followed by safe socialization and a cuppa. For those of our participants who wish to play more competitively we have started organising matches between these Yorkshire teams, which has been a great success. Many of these Walking Cricket teams were also present at the national U3A day for the first time this year and competed against each other in a day-long tournament. Along with this we have recently started a partnernship with IMAS (International Mixed Ability Sports) to extend the sport to individuals of all abilities.
Where we want to go
As a charity we are starting to reach our limits as to what we can do to grow the Walking Cricket project without external funding, but that doesnt mean we dont have lots of ideas! One of our big aspirations is to grow the sport even further by setting up Walking Cricket teams in other cities across Yorkshire. Our aim is also to enable those participants who like to play competitively, to be able to take part in bigger matches across the country. Walking Cricket has attracted ex-cricketers who have the ability to restart a hobby they thought was inaccessible to them. For this reason, we would like to start a Yorkshire-wide team, that will play other counties across the UK.