We have also sent kit directly to a newly set up hub of the refugee cricket project in the Bekka Valley, the Lebanon.The project is funded by our good friends over at the MCC Foundation. Helping young Syrian refugees have a moment of escape from hardships they face every day.
We kitted them out with a new set of softball bats and stumps to help get things kicked off in true Bat For A Chance style with big smiles.
Richard verity ( Founder of the project) had this to say about our kit donation : " Bat for a Chance gave us the kit we needed. High quality bats and stumps for use in soft ball cricket.
This equipment is simply unavailable in Lebanon (let alone a refugee camp). The children also loved the shirts. It made them feel like a team. This is an important step towards acting like a team”
In partnership with The Foundation of Goodness and cricketing legend Kumar Sangakkara, we donated 8 bags of cricket kit to 5 different villages in rural areas of Sri Lanka.
Bat for A Chance are delighted to be Supporting with The Foundation of Goodness, the Sri Lankan charity founded by Kushil Gunasekera following the 2004 tsunami which devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans. The foundation seeks to develop a holistic rural community development model to enable people to move towards economic sustainability, which since its inception, has grown to a project delivering a wide range of programmes to over 31,500 beneficiaries in 400 plus villages across Sri Lanka.
The Foundation’s trustees and supporters include Sri Lankan and world cricket legends Kumar Sangakarra, Mayela Jawardene, Mutiah Muralidaran and Russel Arnold.
Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lankan Cricketing legend had some wonderful words to add about our support to the Foundation “Congratulations to Will Gaffney for his wonderful initiative supporting underprivileged young cricketers in Sri Lanka. The equipment donated via the Foundation of Goodness will bring much joy and happiness in the year ahead for children who struggle to play the game due to a lack of equipment.”
In Uganda we have worked on some more outside of the box projects and got to know the National team well. We have helped provide their national side with some master classes and analysis by Paul Hutchinson (Current Essex XI bowling coach). In the build up to thier series of ODI and IT20 games against Namibia .
We have also helped facilitate introductions and meetings for their chairman and CEO in order to help spread the game into refugee camps, in a mission to make cricket a nationwide game in Uganda. Facilitating a partnership with Sports Aid Network a charity working in areas of extreme ares in poverty across Africa. Using sport as a tool for change and learning when life can be very tough, often steering young children away from dangerous paths in life.
We are now working on some very exiting projects in the lead up to the Mens and Women's International tournaments coming up in Jersey later this year.
Working with our partner ProSport Caribbean, we have set up our first ever overseas hub collecting and distributing kit on our behalf in Trinidad. Zoe and Rob Founders of Pro Sport Caribbean had this to say:
"We did our first “drop” of cricket equipment to Blanchisseuse Secondary School, on the North coast of Trinidad. The equipment had been collected from St Mary’s College Cricket (Port-of-Spain) via some bins that we left at the grounds. It was a great afternoon spent in Blanchisseuse at the school. Coach, Amin Ali was wonderful to make contact with us and rounded up the cricketers to meet us at the school. Kids were shy at first, but soon warmed up and got padded up and had a hit. We chatted with the coach Amin Ali and he told us that 2 members of the side had recently lost thier mothers, a story that struck us all. This really shows the value of sports in children’s lives and how it can be “an escape” to home life that may be difficult for many.
“Bat for a Chance” has inspired PROSPORT CARIBBEAN to start up its own initiative called “Pass it On” which is similar but we collect tennis and hockey equipment to redistribute.
There is so much equipment that kids outgrow or no longer use and it’s a shame for it not to be put into the hands of others who truly need and benefit from it."
Fulfilling our mission to provide joy and escape through cricket, at the request of our partner charity, Cricket Without Boundaries, we sent bats, stumps and clothing to Afghan refugees at the Baobab Experience in Bosnia.
We are delighted to have supported 2 very worthy causes in the UK through partnerships with England Deaf and the MCC Foundation.
England Deaf - working on a case by case bases with CEO Darren Talbort we help provide high quality cricket kit to players unable to acess or afford kit. Identified and steered in our direction by Darren.
The MCC Foundation - Bat for a Chance are delighted to be working with the MCC Foundation with our kit donations set to transform lives through cricket across the U.K and overseas. Recently we helped kit our a young afghan refugee with his first set of hardball kit here in the UK. The young Afghan was overcome with joy on receiving the kit and has now put it to good use in a series of nets on the MCCF's UK Hub Programs.