For many years Northamptonshire CCC has had a dormant youth trust that comprised of small lump sums from benefactors that had strong affiliations with cricket. To date, under the trust remit, this fund has been utilized to support CAG, EPP and academy players and their families with respect to providing an equal opportunity for elite cricket.
Foundations have become a common model for professional sports clubs to access and deliver funds for social cohesion programmes and reduce the financial barrier associated with sport. County cricket clubs have had particular success in this space, considering the game’s ability to bypass ethnicity, age, gender and disability. Cricket really is a game for all.
Northamptonshire CCC are planning to launch a foundation this year under the current working title of ‘Steelbacks Cricket Foundation’. Building on the National County partnerships we currently have, it is the club’s hope that we can extend the remit of the foundation to break the traditional county borders by collaborating through social goals with cricket as its heart!
The Steelbacks Sleep Out last November was well supported and included the Chief Executive Ray Payne and representatives from Street Child United & Northampton Hope Centre. The Sleep Out became the launch event for the ‘Steelbacks Cricket Foundation’ and helped the club raise over £2,500 helping initiate opening projects.
Current plans involve creating a ‘safe space’ in the Steelbacks Café to allow the Northampton Hope Centre to continue the fantastic skills workshops they run off-site. Furthermore, the foundation is in talks with the University of Northampton to develop a ground art project, with the hope of engaging vulnerable and special needs groups to come and be a part of the process.
The plan is to follow the lead of other County cricket foundations and deliver programmes off-site that challenge the mental and physical wellbeing problems as identified by the Government in today’s society.