Warwickshire Cricket and the King Edward VI Foundation, Birmingham build a partnership

Warwickshire Cricket and the King Edward VI Foundation, Birmingham are delighted to announce a new partnership to provide cricket to girls and boys in junior schools across the City.

The aim of the partnership is for these organisations to work together and provide cricket sessions to children in areas where there are fewer opportunities to play sport. The ambition is to enable local children to enjoy all the benefits sport can provide for their physical and mental wellbeing.

As part of this new programme, the KE Foundation schools are making their indoor and outdoor facilities available to local junior schools.  The Warwickshire Cricket Board is providing the expert coaches to lead cricket sessions for the junior school participants. Several of those coaches come from the junior schools with which they are working.

The programme started in April and, despite the poor weather, pupils from 15 junior schools enjoyed a weekly session on the wide open spaces of five KE secondary schools. A total of 600 children participated.

The secondary and junior schools involved in the project were:

At King Edward VI Aston School
– Mansfield Green E-ACT Primary Academy
– Yew Tree Community School

At King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls
– Anglesey Primary School

At King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys
– Grove Primary School
– Cherry Orchard Primary School

At King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys & King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls
– Colmore Junior School
– Wheelers Lane Primary School
– Woodthorpe Junior and Infant School

At King Edward VI Five Ways School
– St Michael’s CE Primary, Bartley Green
– Kitwell Primary School

At King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls
– St Peter’s CofE Primary School, Harborne
– St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School

Stuart Cain, the Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said:

‘Finding new ways of getting youngsters from all walks of life in to cricket is crucial not only for the game but also the youngsters’ physical and mental wellbeing.  We’ve recently launched the country’s first Ramadan Cricket tournament at Edgbaston for young Muslims and the Afro-Caribbean Engagement project.  The link with the KE Foundation will take this to new levels, giving youngsters access to some of the best cricketing facilities in the region and again demonstrates how the Foundation is bringing real benefit to the community outside of its traditional reputation for outstanding education.  I look forward to watching the partnership with Warwickshire Cricket Board grow and think it could soon become one of the most effective cricket programmes in Birmingham.’

Jodh Dhesi said:

‘As the new CEO of the KE Foundation and a keen cricket-lover, I am delighted that the KE Foundation can do its bit for cricket in the city, especially in some of the most disadvantaged areas. In recent years, the KE Foundation has extended its family of schools to 12 but our stated aim is to make Birmingham the best place to be educated in this country. So, to provide cricket for younger pupils from schools close to our own schools seems the perfect thing to do. Everyone benefits and, after all, the Foundation has had very close links with Warwickshire CCC for over a century.’

Ateeq Javid, the former Warwickshire cricketer, who was born and brought up in Aston, has been an integral part of the coaching team. He said:

I am a big believer in giving back to the community where I started so that I can help the next generation develop their cricketing skills. It has been really amazing to see so much passion and energy from the boys and girls and I have thoroughly enjoyed helping with this project as it starts out.”