Police join forces with inner-city cricket scheme
Bristol's StreetChance scheme is getting a helping hand from
the long arm of the law.
Easton Police Community Support Officer Paul Caines has been
visiting the inner-city cricket project in order to break down barriers between
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police and young people.
He said: "The idea of getting local police involved is to
show youngsters that we are there to help them and keep them safe. It also
enables us to build rapport with young people and eliminate any possible
tension in the community."
The scheme is run by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board and
currently operates in five different inner-city areas.
Aimed at 10-18-year-olds, the sessions are designed to give
players a fast-paced and fun taste of cricket using the action-packed game of
Street 20. This is a shortened version of cricket that consists of 20-ball-a-side
matches using a tennis ball wrapped in tape.
Gloucestershire cricket development officer Chris Munden,
who runs the StreetChance sessions, said: "The young people love it as the matches
are fun, quick and you can manage to get plenty in during each session.
"The group have benefited hugely from playing every week and
Paul was really impressed with the standard. There is a togetherness and spirit
that makes it a really good experience for them."
And Chris said that the youngsters had embraced the presence
of PCSO Caines, saying that as well as having the chance to talk to him they
also enjoyed him taking part in the game.
He said: "I think it is great as it breaks down barriers.
Paul said it was really useful to get to know some of the young people and they
were happy to have an extra fielder! Anything that can increase the trust and
respect between the youngsters and police can only be a good thing and it shows
what sport can do."
StreetChance is an initiative by The Cricket Foundation
designed to get young people off the street by offering them a free, fun and
accessible cricketing experience.
For more information on the scheme in Bristol visit http://www.gloucestershirecricketboard.com/index.php/schools/streetchance
or contact Chris Munden on 07557 924941 or email email@example.com