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Breaking Boundaries project looking to build community using the power of cricket

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 November 2018

Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)

Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)

Archant

Nationwide project Breaking Boundaries aims to bring together young people, their families and communities through a shared love of cricket and was launched at the Barking Learning Centre last week.

Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)

The event, organised by Spirit of 2012 and Sporting Equals, is the first of its kind, and is being held in Barking & Dagenham as the borough is one of five localities chosen for a ground-breaking project that aims to build happier, healthier communities.

Supported by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council and Essex Cricket Foundation, students from Robert Clack, Warren, and Lady Aisha Academy took part in a number of events.

Essex batsman Feroze Khushi, 19, who has come up through the club’s academy, was also there to share his experiences in the sport to the youngsters and said: “It’s inspiring to see a lot of kids here. I can learn a lot by coming down and seeing people’s experiences, it’s quite intriguing.

“It’s nice to see a lot of kids showing a lot of passion for the sport. There is a lot of Asian cricketers coming through from this area, which was probably quite minimal before. Myself being Asian it’s nice to see so many kids taking up the sport and watching it.

Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)

“Hopefully I’ll help inspire some of them to take up cricket.”

The project is funded by Spirit of 2012, who awarded £1.8million to launch the project in March this year, and will work with Sporting Equals and the Youth Sports Trust to deliver a project which will supply high-quality training to young ‘Community Champions’.

Arun Kang, chief executive of Sporting Equals added: “Breaking Boundaries will focus on enabling local communities to feel a sense of belonging, encouraging empathy and developing long-lasting relationships between people of different backgrounds, which will help build more cohesive communities and reduce hate crime.”

Spirit of 2012 chief executive Debbie Lye said: “The potential of this project is huge. If we harness love of the wonderful game of cricket to empower young people to lead change, they can take what they learn into their schools, sports and social groups and homes.”

Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)Children getting involved in Breaking Boundaries project (Pic: Sporting Equals)

Cllr Kashif Haroon added: “The aim is to bring together young people, their families and communities through regular engagement and cricket – whether that is playing, watching or volunteering.

“The project will use the spark of the 2019 World Cup to make the most of cricket’s potential and bring together different efficient communities to make them one cricket community.”

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