Bat for a Chance (“BFAC”) has taken the cricket world by storm after being founded bycricket-mad school-boy Will Gaffney in 2019, when he was just 15 years old. The charityenables underprivileged children worldwide to “experience the joy of cricket” through theprovision of kit sourced in the UK, with a particular emphasis on projects in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the West Indies as well as in the UK.
In less than three years, the charity has forged an impressive network of supporters andpartners such as the MCC Foundation, Kushil Gunasekera’s ‘Foundation for Goodness’, and agroup of county cricket clubs including Sussex, Kent, Gloucestershire, Lancashire andSomerset. BFAC has delivered successful projects in Bosnia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and SierraLeone, taking the joy of cricket to some of the world’s most underprivileged places.
“Our global focus means we need a global star to promote the essential work we are doing”said Will. “Chris Jordan was born in the West Indies, but is one of England’s most iconic all-rounders, and was the obvious choice for me, not least as he is one of my cricket heroes.Working with him is a dream come true” he continued.
The charity gathered momentum in early 2020 with the launch of its websitewww.batforachance.org.uk and serves as a collection-point for donated kit, which it then re-distributes to youth-focused cricket projects across the globe through its partners on the ground. Importantly, as Will is keen to point out, this includes deprived areas and refugees in the UK. The charity has recently appointed a board of trustees and advisers with a footprint in UK and global cricket - including those who have worked on similar projects, to mentor and guide the development of the charity. BFAC has appointed well-known sports-marketer Omar Khan as its Chairman.
Mr Khan, speaking on-behalf of the board said “We are delighted to have appointed anoutstanding group of men and women from business, sport, law and the charity sector,alongside the amazing Chris Jordan.”
Chris Jordan said “I am so impressed with what Will has and wants to achieve. The future ofboth cricket and the world is in the hands of young people like Will, and it is an absolute honourfor me to be invited to promote the work he and the charity is doing globally. I am looking forward to working with Will and the new group of trustees to take the charity forward and to enable anyone who wants to, to enjoy the sport which has given me and Will so much”.
Chris, who is known for his level-headed calmness with the ball in his hand will be using hissame level-headed calmness to keep the charity’s feet on the ground as it deals with anunprecedented period of growth. Appointing the new board to assist in this will be key totaking the charity from where it is now to where Will imagined it to be – a bridge betweenpeople and communities, using cricket to overcome some of the side-effects of poverty, exclusion and conflict.
“Cricket is my love in life” said Will. “It is more than just a sport – it is an ethos, and a way oflife. Playing cricket offers young people really vital life lessons, forges friendships and helpsyoung people grow. The cricket pitch is a great leveler – when you are out there, no-one caresabout your background, how wealthy you are or what your religion or politics are. What matters is the game. It is a chance to prove yourself and demonstrate talent and ability. I want to enable all that is great about cricket to be available to anyone who wants to play, and I do not want the lack of a bat and ball to stand in the way of that dream being fulfilled.”