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21 May 2013

London Youth has launched a Cage Cricket pilot, engaging more young people in community sport through youth clubs across the capital. 

We are extending our sports offer to youth clubs and young people across the capital to include a new urban form of cricket which will help teach vital new skills to young people. The project is supported by Mayor Boris Johnson and cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham.

Through The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund, Boris Johnson will provide London Youth with an initial 50 Cage Cricket kits that allow existing games areas to be used for the sport. Thousands of young people across 50 youth clubs will get to play the sport while training will be provided for 300 youth workers.

Cage Cricket is an innovative fast-paced urban incarnation of cricket in which six people play at once in an area the size of a basketball court. Participants in the totally new sport compete as individuals but have to work together to win by hitting the ball on the sides of the cage – which can be a gym, tennis court or multi-use games area.

Vitally, there is no external umpire. This means fielders rotate around the ‘red zone’ where they take on the responsibility of calling decisions.

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive of London Youth, said:

“Sport is an incredibly important way for young people to learn new skills, responsibilities and have fun. We know some young people find it difficult to get involved in school sports, so Getting Ready is special because it will offer the chance for them to learn new sports in clubs and community centres.

We know from many years of working with youth clubs that successful programmes in communities can help young people re-engage in learning and develop their confidence and character, giving them better opportunities to thrive in the future.”

Our sports development programme, Getting Ready, provides a menu of over 35 different sports for young people to choose from – providing taster sessions, equipment, training young people as coaches and providing NGB coaches as mentors to deliver eight-week sports programmes.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be supporting Cage Cricket as part of my drive to boost grassroots sport and to ensure a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games. With the vital backing of cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham we have a partnership with London Youth that will see more kids trying out a sport they might not have ever considered playing before.

Thanks to this brilliant initiative, a new and exciting form of the game will be brought to communities across the capital, encouraging more young Londoners to take up cricket and become stars of the future.”

Sir Ian Botham, Ambassador for Cage Cricket, said:

“Cage Cricket is designed to tackle some of the fundamental barriers that stop players taking up the traditional game. It’s fast, cheap and can be played in city centres. But most important, it can act as a powerful intervention technique to help resolve social issues the game’s simple design. This partnership with the Mayor is a huge boost not just for young people but for the cricketing world and it is a great example of how we should be approaching grassroots sport following the Olympics.

"The Mayor is leading by example in creating a real sporting legacy for London and in driving forward an innovative new method of helping dispossessed young people build their confidence and engage better with others.”

The launch of the pilot featured in the Evening Standard and on Radio 4's Today Programme.