Sussex Cricket launched its Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley at a special event at Three Bridges Cricket Club on Thursday evening (24th June).
The evening featured an All Stars Cricket session for local five- to eight- year olds, a girls-specific session as part of a programme funded by Active Sussex and a Women’s Softball Festival.
In attendance were representatives from local cricket clubs, the local council, Active Sussex and Sussex Cricket.
The showcase was held to celebrate the launch of a five-year plan to use cricket to build a stronger community, make a difference to the future of Crawley and embrace and celebrate the game.
Sussex Cricket will continue to work closely with Crawley Borough Council, Active Sussex the 12 cricket clubs and more than 25 schools in the area, the Crawley Development Group, the National Asian Cricket Council and the England & Wales Cricket Board to make these ambitions a reality.
To do this, Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley aims to:
The full plan is available to view here.
Gary Wallis-Tayler, Sussex Cricket’s Community Cricket Director: "We are delighted to be able to launch our Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley. Communities in Crawley are extremely passionate about cricket with there being high demand for people to access the game from different backgrounds, genders, ages, and abilities.
“Through this plan we are aiming to continue to grow the game and provide as many opportunities as possible for people from across the area to play the game. The plan will also enable us to help increase and improve the provision of indoor and outdoor facilities in the town and connect with local communities and key stakeholders to ensure cricket is the sport of choice across Crawley."
Amna Shafiq, Women & Girls Coordinator at Crawley Eagles CC: “As we all know in Crawley, cricket is the largest recreational sport in the summer and, some would say, all year round. We have more teams and players playing cricket than facilities available in the town.
“As a community we need to come together and keep encouraging more and more women and girls to get involved at all levels. I can see the coming year being a very exciting one for women’s and girls’ cricket in Crawley.
“Crawley Eagles women’s team started in 2020 and the growth from a group of women talking about cricket to a team that has over 15 regular players, participating and winning our first ever softball tournament in addition to entering this year’s league and playing at Lord’s has been a clear signal of the interest and demand for women’s and girls’ cricket in Crawley.
“We hope the Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley helps facilitate and enhance the opportunities for women and girls to play more cricket in a safe and secure environment in the town.”
Gulfraz Riaz, Chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council: "It is a huge positive to see the Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Crawley being launched by Sussex Cricket. Crawley as a region remains an incredibly important cricketing area particularly for the South Asian Cricketing Community and it is encouraging that very real and meaningful plans are now in place that will help sustain and help grow cricket for the community for generations to come thus uniting the cricketing family."
Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing at Crawley Borough Council: “We’re pleased to be involved in this exciting initiative and we’re discussing opportunities – including working with partners to improve facilities – to encourage people from all backgrounds to take up cricket.”
Greater Crawley’s plan is Sussex Cricket’s second Urban Plan for Cricket, following on from Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Brighton which was launched earlier this month.
Sussex Cricket, in association with Brighton & Hove City Council and Adur District Council, is delighted to reveal its Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Brighton.
The five-year plan aims to use cricket to improve people’s lives and create stronger, healthier communities in Greater Brighton, with a commitment to improve the standard of outdoor and indoor facilities across the area.
The plan was devised by a working group led by Sussex Cricket’s Community Cricket Director, Gary Wallis-Tayler, and Chair of the club’s existing Brighton & Hove Area Hub, David Bowden MBE.
In consultation with clubs, community groups and key stakeholders, the group have identified numerous actions required in Greater Brighton between 2021 and 2026 to ensure the plan’s aim is met.
These are organised within five categories:
1. inspiring the next generation of cricketers through schools and clubs and the Sussex Cricket player pathway.
2. growing and supporting the wider game by increasing participation of players, officials and volunteers, particularly those from minority ethnic communities.
3. transforming women’s and girl’s cricket.
4. developing grounds and infrastructure at all levels across the region
5. developing high-performance cricket teams ranging from Sussex’s professional and age-group teams to the more than 20 teams from Greater Brighton playing in the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League.
The plan will build upon strong foundations such as the fantastic facilities at Blackstone Academy Ground, sponsored by Hurstpierpoint College and the Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy; the world’s largest adult cricket league in the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League; and the work of Sussex Cricket’s Brighton & Hove Cricket Development Group which has been operating for 14 years.
Sussex Cricket’s existing community initiatives, including its Sporting Memories and Walking Cricket programmes and Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, will also play an important role in meeting the Plan’s aims of engaging with as wide an audience as possible in Greater Brighton.
Gary Wallis-Tayler, Sussex Cricket’s Community Cricket Director said: ““By creating this five-year Urban Plan for Greater Brighton & Hove, we’re showing our commitment to the growth and development of cricket in a key area of the county.
“The plan will enable us to build stronger relationships with key stakeholders and our communities which will be of benefit to all ages, genders, abilities and backgrounds.”
Ian Shurrock, Head of Sport & Leisure at Brighton & Hove City Council said: “The Sussex Cricket Foundation undertake excellent work to increase the inclusivity and diversity of participants in cricket. This plan will enable the Foundation to develop cricket even more to the benefit of the health and wellbeing of all involved from the Greater Brighton & Hove Area.”
The full Urban Plan for Cricket in Greater Brighton 2021-2026 is available to download below.