In With Heart Tour Stop 1 – Bristol
Following the Women’s LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at The Bristol County Ground in June 2021, former England Women’s cricketer Lydia Greenway visited a grassroots girls’ cricket session in the city.
LV= is supporting grassroots cricket across the UK via #Funds4Runs. The Gloucestershire County Board sessions take place at the Bristol Pakistani Cricket Club, a recipient of a grant from the £1m pot jointly funded by LV= Insurance and the ECB.
They have a skills-based section and a game of the all-new countdown cricket. The new way of play keeps the players engaged and sees numbers increase every week.
England legend Greenway surprised the aspiring young cricketers from the South Asian community by participating in the session and sharing her experiences of getting into cricket.
“It’s so exciting that these girls have been able to watch the very best women’s players in the country compete right on their doorstep,” she said.
“Children’s grassroots cricket is the game’s future which is why I absolutely love coming to sessions like this to work with the kids and help develop that love of cricket. It’s initiatives like this that motivated me to start my own programme, Cricket for Girls, in 2016 which also helps to develop young, female cricketers.”
Laura Charles-Price, Women & Girls Development Officer at Gloucestershire Cricket Board, said: “The funding from LV= Insurance has given Gloucestershire as a County Board the ability to take cricket directly to the girls within the South Asian community, who find it difficult to access opportunities in a trusted female only environment.
“We hope this is just the start, and we intend to grow the offer going forward, with not just playing opportunities but coach education and activator training. This is definitely one of the highlights of my time working within cricket.”
In With Heart Tour Stop 2 – Birmingham
England legends Ian Bell and Isa Guha surprised a Birmingham Primary School’s cricket session as part of LV= Insurance’s ‘In With Heart Tour’.
The Leigh Trust at Leigh Primary School ran the session with funding from #Funds4Runs – a community fund created by LV= and the ECB to support grassroots cricket across the UK.
Run by coaches from Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Bell and Guha surprised the 23 budding cricketers by joining in and sharing their experiences of how they first got into the sport. #Funds4Runs pays for qualified coaches to bring cricket to children who may not otherwise have had the chance to play.
Bell highlighted the importance of capitalising on the excitement of a busy summer to inspire the next generation of players.
“The kids were really fantastic and so excited to play,” he said. “It’s really important to inspire children across the community with access to cricket as this is the age where you can really fall in love with the game. It’s great that LV= Insurance is supporting growing the game in less traditional cricket heartlands and I look forward to seeing where the In With Heart Tour stops next.”
The ‘In With Heart’ Tour will move on to Nottingham at the end of July, ahead of the highly anticipated LV= Insurance Test Series against India.