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18 August 2009 | PR 09/108

Loughborough report highlights positive impact of cricket scheme

StreetChance

StreetChance participant.

A Loughborough University report has highlighted the positive role cricket is playing in engaging young people in inner-city London and helping them improve their discipline and tolerance.

An independent evaluation report on the StreetChance initiative, carried out by researchers in the University’s Institute of Youth Sport (IYS), also highlights how the inclusive nature of cricket is helping to re-connect previously marginalised school pupils, and how teachers are using the sport to overcome language barriers in schools where English is often a second language.

StreetChance is a three-year project being delivered initially across 10 London boroughs and supported by Barclays Spaces for Sports. Launched in July 2008, the programme uses cricket to engage young people from a range of backgrounds in areas affected by youth crime and anti-social behaviour. It is delivered in school as well as out of school through regular community sessions.

In its first year StreetChance aimed to involve 5,000 young people in state schools and local communities across London through “Street 20”, a fast-paced, more accessible version of cricket that uses a tennis ball bound with electrical tape, with games lasting for just 20 minutes.

End of year figures announced today (Tuesday 18 August) show the initiative actually reached 7,000 youngsters in total - 40% were girls, 67% were from black and minority ethnic communities and 4% had special educational needs.

IYS researchers Ruth Jeanes and Tess Kay evaluated the impact of StreetChance on teachers and pupils involved in the first year of the initiative.

Monitoring the project from its outset, the pair conducted interviews with teachers, coaches, youth workers and sports personnel and carried out focus groups with school pupils and members of community groups.

“StreetChance is having a number of positive benefits on the young people it is currently engaging,” said Jeanes. “The inclusive sessions have motivated young people and enabled pupils with behavioural and learning difficulties to gain confidence.”

The report also found that the community cricket sessions provided a diversionary activity for youngsters and prevented them from ‘hanging about’ the streets or getting bored at home. In Southwark the initiative has even initiated contact between communities from ‘rival’ estates and encouraged them to work together at the weekly StreetChance sessions.

Mark Johnson, Partnership Inspector at Southwark Police, said:

“The StreetChance programme has enabled us to deliver fun, diversionary activities through sport, providing positive role models for young people and helping to break down barriers between diverse communities which have historically never integrated.

“The project has successfully used cricket to allow us to engage positively with young people, and the local community say there are fewer instances of anti-social behaviour while the sessions are running.”

StreetChance is a partnership between Chance to Shine, Barclays Spaces for Sports, Cricket for Change, the Metropolitan Police Service and Positive Futures; a social inclusion project funded mainly by the Home Office.

This report is part of wider IYS research focussing on cricket and the Chance to Shine initiative and contributes to the Institute’s work into the role of sport and its contribution to social inclusion.

For more details on StreetChance and to read the full Institute of Youth Sport report visit www.streetchance.co.uk

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T:01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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