Crease is the word for new Borders cricket project

Scotland International George Munsey and some enthusiastic youngsters help launch All Stars Cricket (picture by Donald MacLeod).
Scotland International George Munsey and some enthusiastic youngsters help launch All Stars Cricket (picture by Donald MacLeod).

A brand new coacing programme aims to turn cricket into one of the Borders’ mainstream sports.

All Stars Cricket aims to inspire five to eight-year-old children to take up the sport through a fun first experience of the game.

The Cricket Scotland eight-week programme begins in May and will see participating boys and girls develop their skills and make new friends in a safe and inclusive environment, at one of the 50 Scottish cricket clubs which have signed up to host and run the sessions.

Participants include Gala, Selkirk, Kelso, St Boswells, Hawick, Peebles and Langholm Cricket Clubs.

The programme is launched on the back of statistics which show just two per cent of UK children aged seven to 15 named cricket as their favourite sport, and three in five youngsters did not name cricket in their top 10 sports.

Ian Sandbrook, of Gattonside, who is director of participation at Cricket Scotland, said: “We believe All Stars Cricket could be a game-changer for the sport in Scotland.

“We think the programme will provide children and their parents with an outstanding first step into the sport and help create a generation of youngsters with a lifelong love of the game.

“Our excitement stems from the huge number of benefits which the scheme provides.

“As well as the personalised participant pack sent to each child’s door as part of an easy online registration process, All Stars Cricket involves nine out of 10 fundamental movement skills, is fun, safe and inclusive, and gives the children the chance to rub shoulders with the elite players in Scotland.

“We think this makes All Stars Cricket the leading entry level sports programme in the UK.

“We are confident that, if we get this right, our clubs and sport will get a significant boost that will put cricket in Scotland into the mainstream.”

Registration is open now, with each child receiving a pack of cricket goodies including a cricket bat, ball, backpack, water bottle, personalised shirt and cap to keep, so they can continue their love of cricket when they go home.

There will also be a chance for youngsters to meet current Scotland internationalists as part of All Stars Cricket, which will be led by fully-trained and vetted activators at each club.

To sign up, visit www.allstarscricket.co.uk