Record numbers in ASDA Kwik Cricket
ASDA Kwik Cricket ambassador Stuart Broad today launched ASDA Kwik Cricket 2008 at Thurgarton Cricket Club in Nottingham - with a surge in participation amongst primary school pupils recorded.
ASDA Kwik Cricket 2008 sees 23 per cent more teams taking part than last year and a phenonemonal rise in girls taking part, up 97 per cent on last year with over 25,000 girls aged seven to 11 registered to take part.
Broad was joined by England’s Ashes-winning women cricketers Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt at the launch event.
Kwik Cricket celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and Broad recollects his early days with the plastic bat and ball: “Like many of my England team-mates, Kwik Cricket was the first form of the game that I played, and I loved it.
"It’s so easy to pick up the basic skills of catching, throwing, hitting and running from cricket which makes it a great game for children to play."
Pete Ackerley, ECB head of development, said: “ASDA Kwik Cricket is the gateway to our sport for thousands of youngsters at primary school, and the growth is incredibly encouraging for the long-term future of our sport."
Clare Connor OBE, ECB head of women’s cricket, said: “I offer my sincere thanks to everyone involved in encouraging such a meteoric rise in the number of young girls playing cricket. We are fast moving away from being a minority sport in schools for girls and becoming a key player in girls’ physical education development."
The growth in ASDA Kwik Cricket reflects the increased participation in all levels of the recreational game which has seen a 27 per cent increase nationally and a 45 per cent increase in women and girls' cricket in 2008.
Michelle Payne, ASDA Kwik Cricket project manager, said: “It is great news that so many children are turning to cricket and we are delighted to work closely with the ECB to sustain such significant increases in participation.
"Once again, ASDA will focus on children within communities and help them make healthy choices about their lifestyle and eating patterns."
ASDA and the ECB work in partnership to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to children, using the ASDA Kwik Cricket Festivals and England player appearances as an opportunity to discuss healthy eating issues with youngsters.
ASDA Kwik Cricket is now on the curriculum at over 8,000 primary schools which together with over 4,500 ECB affiliated cricket clubs provides an introduction to cricket and with record numbers participating again this year, the initiative is one of the largest primary school programmes in England and Wales.
Thurgarton CC is an ECB Focus Club and was one of the first clubs to benefit from the £30 million investment the ECB has made to cricket clubs and their facilities in 2007-08.