Leicestershire County Cricket Club is delighted to announce the launch of a hugely important Community Partnership Programme with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 2016.
The Royal Air Force is supporting the club with a number of key community initiatives including the ECB City Cup, targeted work in the inner city and a new Interfaith tournament.
All of the programmes that the Royal Air Force will be involved with have a massive impact on the lives of young people, particularly those who live in inner-city areas in Leicester.
Youngsters will also get the chance to try the game in a unique way both at the Fischer County Ground and across the city and county through a brand new specialised inflatable.
The unit will be set up at Leicestershire CCC home matches throughout the summer after the partnership was launched at the recent Open Day against Kent. During this day, the whole community was invited to watch cricket for free as well as take part in a number of fun activities at the ground.
It will also be used across our popular NatWest T20 Blast matches, our Community Day against Yorkshire Vikings on Sunday, July 24, and taken to various events across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
As part of the new agreement, Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s players went to RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire during the pre-season programme. Our players were put through their paces with a number of mental and physical tests that are crucial to RAF officers, and found it a fascinating experience.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Wasim Khan MBE said: “It is absolutely fantastic that the Royal Air Force is sponsoring some of our key coaching programmes to ensure lots of young people in the community will get the chance to gain some unique cricketing experiences.
“Our partnership will have a major positive impact on children across the city and county, and will give particular opportunities to those who are not always fortunate enough to receive them.
“The Royal Air Force has also been of great assistance to our professional players and coaches, for which we are most grateful. This is the start of an extremely exciting partnership that lots of people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will benefit greatly from.”
Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Head of Community Development Martyn Dobson said: “Leicestershire County Cricket Club want to be known as an organisation that can affect positive change in challenging circumstances through a comprehensive and diverse community programme. I’m delighted that the RAF has recognised this and am looking forward to working together in delivering our community programme in the future.
“Professional sport and delivering in the community go hand in hand, one doesn’t happen without the other. Our mission is to marry exceptional delivery with exceptional community programmes to help safeguard the future of the game within Leicestershire.”
James Schofield, Squadron Leader at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, said: “The RAF is extremely thrilled to be going into partnership with Leicestershire County Cricket Club. It will be great to interact with the Public at some of the larger events at the ground, but it is the smaller community events that are particularly interesting.
“Being able to assist in providing unique opportunities to young people within the City and across the County is exciting and it is hoped that through this venture, they are encouraged to strive for whatever they want from their future.
“We anticipate that this initial programme is just the beginning of a growing partnership that will continue to develop over forthcoming years to ensure that the opportunities for young children are maximised.”