Cricket

LV= and the England and Wales Cricket Board join forces for #Funds4Runs

Supporting community cricket when it needs us most

LV= Insurance is at the heart of the cricket community and has supported cricket clubs up and down the country since the launch of #Funds4Runs in November 2020.

#Funds4Runs is a £1million initiative co-funded by LV= and the ECB to help the grassroots cricket community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stoke Newington Cricket Club were the first club to receive funding in March 2021. They found out during a surprise virtual visit from England vice-captain Anya Shrubsole on International Women’s Day. The club used the fund to create a summer-long programme of free activities aimed at attracting women and secondary-age girls in Hackney to cricket for the first time.

LV= then launched their ‘In With Heart Tour’ to bring the elite and grassroots together at a number of #Funds4Runs projects across the country. Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Yeovil, Rotherham and Leyton were the stops, featuring a range of sessions varying from those targeting girls from the South Asian community to those involving young people with disabilities.


In its second full-year, the fund will look to open up coaching avenues for those involved in the game. Over 57% of players say they would like to receive cricket coaching, including 70% of South Asians, but only 23% of players actually do.

The fund aims to support 4,000 coaches and have an impact on at least 20,000 players from all levels of the game each year. Courses will vary from foundation phases to more specialist programmes.

Follow @lv_cricket on Twitter and Instagram and @LVcricketnews on Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest information on the partnership and for the chance to win tickets to LV= Insurance Test Series this summer.

Why has the fund been set up?

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on elite sport, but grassroots cricket has been hit particularly hard, threatening the survival of clubs that offer so much to the people who engage with them and support them.

Sport and physical activity can improve both mental and physical health, but can also help build stronger communities by bringing people together.  

LV= has a long heritage in cricket, that extends back to 2002, when we were the title partner of the County Championship for 14 years.

With the challenges faced, LV= aims to support the ECB in connecting communities, building better lives through cricket and increasing the relevance of the sport in traditionally non-cricket communities.

Ultimately, this will help engage communities with cricket, either through participation, attendance or support.

How will our fund help support communities?

Five key areas across England and Wales will be helped, they are...

Cricket programmes for young people in deprived communities

We’ll be launching new schemes in new areas, and subsidised places for young people who may not otherwise be able to participate in cricket. This will give more young people the opportunity to play the game and create more diverse and inclusive environments to inspire the next generation.

Women's and girls' programmes

We're also supporting ECB's initiative to continue promoting and growing women and girls' interest in cricket. The goal is to make cricket available to everyone, by increasing the number of places available for women and girls in England and Wales.

Engaging diverse communities with cricket

Cricket has a unique opportunity to use its purpose of connecting communities and improving lives to make a positive difference in our modern and diverse society.

We will fund initiatives which encourage a broader cross-section of communities to discover and share their passion for cricket by making playing the game more accessible. This will also include supporting opportunities to develop a stronger, more diverse volunteering workforce to underpin the delivery of cricket.

Disability cricket initiatives

Our funding will help support the ECB Disability Cricket Champion Clubs to provide regular cricket opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Initiatives will be designed to help clubs create time and space for disabled members of their community, supporting and encouraging those with different needs to enjoy playing cricket.

Innovation and transformation

We’ll fund projects to support communities and cricket clubs across England and Wales with the skills and tools they need to attract new, younger and more diverse audiences into cricket.


Ready to apply or want to find out more?

All you need to do is head to ECB.co.uk/Funds4Runs

#Funds4Runs launch video

View video transcript

Georgia Elwiss visits local girls' training session

Find out how Stoke Newington CC has benefitted from their #Funds4Runs grant

Stoke Newington were the first ever recipients of a #Funds4Runs grant. They received the news via a surprise appearance from England vice-captain, Anya Shrubsole.

One year on, we went back with England cricketer Georgia Elwiss to see how the club has benefitted. We visited while the club were running a girls’ cricket session at Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy in Hackney on International Women’s Day.

Since they received their grant, Stoke Newington have seen their women and girls’ team grow from 65 to more than 100 participants. The rapid expansion of their squad means they’ll now be fielding two sides in the Middlesex Women’s League this summer. They’ve also got lots of friendly matches planned, with 30 fixtures currently on their list.

Over the winter months, they entered three girls’ teams into the Middlesex indoor league (U12, U14 and U16). This was the first time they’ve done this, and was a great way for their girls’ and women’s teams to train during the off-season. They’ve also formed a U17 girls’ side which will be playing at this summer’s inaugural Middlesex T20 Youth Cup.

And Stoke Newington aren’t the only ones we’ve been supporting. In the past 12 months, #Funds4Runs has given £499,000 of funding to 240 projects across England and Wales, with over 15,000 people participating in training sessions just like the one Elwiss visited.

Surprise!

Find out what happened when England legends surprised members of Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club...

A host of current and former England cricket players surprised Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club during an inter-squad friendly game organised by LV= Insurance. James Anderson, Mark Wood and Nat Sciver, as well as legends Steve Harmison and Isa Guha were the stars.

 

Unsuspecting club members were stunned as Anderson arrived to give the team-talk and offer coaching tips while Sciver acted as scorer for the day all before Harmison and Guha emerged onto the pitch to act as umpires for the game. Wood then served the drinks, sandwiches and cakes as players came in for tea.

 

“We all really enjoyed coming down to Leicester and surprising the club members,” said Anderson. “It was a lot of fun and I thought Woody in particular has found a new vocation for when he hangs up the pads.

 

“Grassroots cricket clubs across the country are truly the heart of the cricket community in this country and it’s always nice to return and remind ourselves of our own days spending weeknights down at our local clubs.

 

“I think this is what the initiative LV= have put together today is all about and topping it off with financial support to regrow their Women’s team as part of their #Funds4Runs investment in grassroots coaching is a really nice touch.”

 

After the game LV= announced funding to train a new coach to relaunch the club’s Women’s side, which had sadly disbanded following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heather Smith, Managing Director at LV= General Insurance, said: “We are delighted to announce the next stage of our #Funds4Runs community initiative. It is our mission to help all corners of the grassroots community gain access to the game of cricket and supporting coaching is a fantastic way of maintaining that commitment, starting with Leicester Electricity Cricket Club. Adding the human touch of the players surprising the Leicester club members during their inter-squad friendly was truly heart-warming and a lovely initiative.

 

“LV= has a great passion for cricket, dating back 20 years with our time as title partner of the County Championship, and we’re proud to be able to continue that legacy today.”

 

Heather Powell, Women’s Section Volunteer at Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club, said: “Our cricket club was delighted to take part in this event as a prelude to the upcoming LV= Insurance Test Series. It was great to see the professional players undertaking volunteering activities, which are so crucial to the running of an amateur inner-city club.

 

“Our women and girls’ team suffered badly during the COVID-19 pandemic and we have struggled to find the support to restart it since. Helping us train a coach for the team will be the first step in maintaining our offering to women and girls, so thank you again to LV= for coming down and supporting us with this.”

 

Watch the video below to see how the day played out!

Leicester City Cricket Club Surprise Visit

View video transcript