Highlighting some of the great work from clubs in promoting All Stars Cricket!
All Stars Cricket is a brand new initiative from the England and Wales Cricket Board aimed at providing children aged five to eight with a great first experience in cricket. The programme is being delivered across England and Wales at over 1,800 fully accredited All Stars Cricket centres. It is a fun and active way to develop children's skills, and through the eight-week programme they will learn lots – as well as make new friends – in a safe and inclusive environment.
All girls and boys are welcome, and each registered child will receive a pack of cricket goodies including a cricket bat, ball, backpack, water bottle, personalised shirt and cap to keep so that they can continue their love of cricket when they go home.
Registration is now open for the programme, which starts in May 2017, via www.allstarscricket.co.uk
In Wiltshire we have been preparing for All Stars Cricket since the end of 2016. This has included clubs expressing interest in becoming a centre, attending an information evening at the beginning of February, and then formally signing up to become a centre during February and early March. This was all ahead of a formal launch to the public which took place on 20th March.
The result of this behind the scenes work is that we have 28 clubs signed up to deliver the programme. We are delighted with this outcome and would like to thank those 28 clubs for the outstanding work they are doing to prepare for delivering All Stars Cricket this summer, including providing evidence to ensure you can be accredited as a centre, identifying Activators to attend training ahead of delivering this summer and finally, and most importantly, driving recruitment of players to the programme.
On that final point, as of today (26th April), we stand at 292 children signed up across the county. Whilst a long way to go to reach our target of an anverage of 30 children per centre, we are still very well placed ahead of the programme starting across most centres in mid-late May.
Driving recruitment - what have clubs done?
We want to take a quick moment to celebrate some of the great success stories so far. For example...
White Horse Cricket Club - Never run junior cricket before, but today have 21 children signed up to the programme
Winterbourne Cricket Club - Were looking to establish junior cricket in 2017 anyway, but saw All Stars Cricket as a great way to start. As of today, 28 children signed up to the programme
Marlborough Cricket Club - Run an established junior programme, and have already managed to sign up 26 children to the programme
Case study - Bradford on Avon CC
As well as the three clubs above we are very aware that many other clubs are doing superbly well with their own promotion. We just wanted to focus on one example of a club who is not relying solely on national or county board promotion, but is also going out of their way to do things locally.
Bradford On Avon CC have spent their own club money to print posters (using the resources available through the online portal) and have laminated these, and distributed through the following networks:
- Health centres
- The Bradford on Avon Town Council
- Tesco Express
- Train Station
- Local nurseries (for older siblings)
- Holiday clubs have been given fliers
In addition, the club has found a willing volunteer to do leaflet dropping throughout the town, and is using social media to target other relevant groups in the town to share their message about All Stars Cricket
The club is now focusing its efforts on school promotion, something that a lot of clubs are doing, and is also trying to engage its members and parents with a call to action by asking them to distribute the posters to people they know.
These ideas above are a fantastic example of a club that is being pro-active in trying to attract new audiences to the game of cricket. For years, participation rates have been dropping in Cricket and through All Stars Cricket we have the programme which can help start to reverse that decline by inspiring children to take up the sport and develop a lifelong affinity with the game.
Well done to all clubs who are being pro-active with All Stars Cricket. It's really important that we don't miss this opportunity to attract children to our great game!
Summary of ideas to help with recruitment
As a Cricket Board, we have been doing our best to promote the programme, and to share ideas with clubs around how we can attract children to All Stars Cricket. Here's a summary of a few things we are doing and ideas for clubs:
Emailing your current club database / identify younger siblings - An obvious one but really important our current audiences are aware of All Stars Cricket so that they can help spread the word!
Social media - Some clubs are being really pro-active on social media - it's a great way of raising awareness
Shout Out groups on Facebook - many towns have quite large Facebook ‘Shout Out’ groups.
School promotion - The biggest captive audience. We as the Cricket Board can deliver assemblies and taster sessions
Mum’s Facebook pages - For those clubs who are good with or have an individual who is good with social media why not investigate the different community groups that exist on Facebook
Beavers / Rainbows or other Sports – there have been some good examples across the country of where clubs have promoted All Stars Cricket to other sporting organisations or children's groups in their town/village
Local media - Some clubs have contacted their local newspaper or radio station asking for a slot
What is the Cricket Board doing?
Shopping centre promotions – We are attempting to take All Stars Cricket out on the road by booking up slots in local shopping centres. We have already delivered in Trowbridge and will also be in Salisbury, Swindon and Chippenham
District and County players – We have already emailed our database of young cricketers to see if they may have younger siblings who could be interested in All Stars Cricket
School RELAY magazine – We have managed to get All Stars Cricket included in the school magainze; RELAY which will go out to all schools very shortly from our County Sports Partnership
Facebook advertising - We have paid for some targeted Facebook advertising, to cover the whole county
School promotion - Every school in the county has been sent an offer of receiving an All Stars Cricket assembly and taster session, and we have been delivering these since early March, and still have scope to continue delivering on behalf of clubs until mid May
School newsletters and electronic boards - For schools who don't want an actual assembly or taster session, we have sent them wording and images to include in their newsletters / put on electronic boards in their reception are
Finally - a big THANK YOU to everyone who is doing their bit to drive All Stars Cricket!