A week before the first Test match at Lord’s against India, nine teams of young people from across England were slugging it out at Lord’s to be crowned winners of the 2011 Prince’s Trust xl programme Cricket Festival.

Leicestershire and Rutland was well represented with three mixed teams from Leicester taking part – two from Longslade Community College and one from City of Leicester College. Leading up to the event all the young people, who are part of Prince’s Trust xl clubs, took part in coaching sessions delivered by Cricket Board coaches.

The support provided by the Leicestershire and Rutland coaches proved to be outstanding with one of the Leicestershire Prince’s Trust xl club teams progressing all the way to the final at Lord’s claiming victory in a closely fought match against Harris Academy from Peckham, London.

It was also a big day for Leicestershire Academy star Tom Wells, who travelled down for the day to support the schools from his county and hand out the prizes. He said ‘I’ve never been to Lord’s before so this is a special occasion for me too. The participants aren’t much younger than me and they are having such a good time. It’s really great to be involved’.

Prince’s Trust xl clubs help young people aged 14-16 who are facing difficulties at school, including those at risk of exclusion. The xl programme aims to re-engage these young people through a practical and informal programme of personal development which is tailored to their needs and allows club members to achieve recognised qualifications.

Our Prince’s Trust xl club Cricket programme enables us to add enormous value to the xl programme and provides young people with once in a lifetime opportunity to receive dedicated coaching, visit the home of cricket, meet inspirational players and gain access to cricket related progression opportunities.