After an evening in the exulted conditions of Lord’s what better thing to do than to visit a local club helping to ensure the game carries on! A Facebook friend, Keith, had invited me to visit Hadleigh and Thundersley Cricket Club to see the All Stars initiative in action.

I’ve visited the ECB site to get the initial lowdown on All Stars – this was the second time I’ve seen it in action

What is All Stars Cricket?

All Stars Cricket provides a fantastic first experience for all children aged 5-8 years old where they’re guaranteed 8 weeks of jam-packed fun, activity and skills development. The programme is designed to introduce children to the sport, teaching them new skills, helping them make new friends and have a great time doing so.

Every child that registers will receive a backpack full of goodies. Your child’s pack will include:

  • Backpack
  • Cricket bat
  • Cricket ball
  • Personalised t-shirt with your child’s name

All children returning to All Stars will receive a kit bag, a set of stumps, a new ball and a personalised t-shirt.

I’d been held up in traffic after stupidly ignoring my Satnav so was later than I’d intended – it meant that most of the children had already arrived. I met Dilber Vapiwala who was registering the 61 who turned up, that’s right, 61 Five to Eight Year Olds! She took the time to take me round the club and to explain the set up.

Now 61 children that young should have looked like herding cats! But, broken into 3 groups by age they all knew the drill and the photos show children thoroughly enjoying themselves. Their parents were enjoying themselves too, with the hour session being a good opportunity to meet up with friends new and old.

This is really going to be about the photos I took, they tell the whole story, boys and girls having a good time, led by volunteers, led by Roy Soillieux, who give hours of their time for the best interests of the game. This club sits at the heart of its community, the facilities include 2 pitches and a pavilion with changing rooms that would put many to shame. I was made to feel totally welcome and will be back through the summer to write more about this club in its 75th year.

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