Warwickshire County Cricket Club wishes to offer huge congratulations to Kings Heath CC on their stellar performance in winning the National All Stars OSCA at Lord’s.
Kings Heath collected the prestigious award at the Home of Cricket for their involvement in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s All Stars scheme which is designed to bring young people into cricket.
More than 37,000 youngsters joined All Stars centres nationally this summer – and nowhere was the scheme embraced more strongly than at Kings Heath with 84 children attending sessions.
“Kings Heath engaged brilliantly with the All Stars scheme,” said Warwickshire Cricket Board General Manager Ed McCabe. “The boys and girls and their parents had a great time and what made Kings Heath stand out was their excellent use of social media, general marketing and inclusivity for all types of children. They ran a bursary scheme, showed great attention to detail and set up really fun sessions based on the All Stars themes of stars and planets.”
During the eight-week course, children learned all the fundamental skills of cricket while making new friends. Jo Malcolm, Girls Cricket Coordinator at Kings Heath said: “Girls Lead Coach Bernie O’Connor and I had been having talking about how to get girls involved before the age of seven to develop and sustain our girls section. We were not really sure how to go about it and then the email from ECB arrived about All Stars Cricket.
“I signed up straight away and attended the All Stars Roadshow at Edgbaston, led by the ECB All Stars Team. The presentation was mind-blowing in terms of a vision for the future for cricket in its broadest sense and what it would enable us to provide for the children and families in our community.
“What was offered in terms of kit-bags for children, weekly emails and videos for parents and support from the ECB and WCB in terms of lesson-planning etc., was something that we, as a club, would not have been able to provide.
…what made Kings Heath stand out was their excellent use of social media, general marketing and inclusivity for all types of children.Ed McCabe, WCB General Manager
“More importantly, the philosophy of creating a fun, creative environment, getting parents involved and teaching children fundamental skills through cricket, was something I felt we could totally buy in to. It was a no brainer.
“I immediately felt excited about the prospect of All Stars at Kings Heath – although did not realise quite how successful it would be!”
Asma Ajaz-Ali, one of the All Stars activators at Kings Heath, added: “We marketed All Stars to local schools and used the club’s player network to publicise the sessions. Kings Heath is a friendly, fun club where all the coaches are approachable so new cricketers are made welcome and become part of the Kings Heath Family.”
Kings Heath’s OSCA came as fully-deserved recognition of their immediate response to All Stars – but that response, and the scheme as a whole, will have long-term benefits both locally and to English cricket.
“All Stars has brought to the club lots of children in the five-to-eight year age group, many of whom had not played cricket before,” said Jo. “There are some really talented cricketers in this group but we hope all the children will join the junior section and continue to enjoy cricket and begin to play in games. And hopefully parents will remain involved and become the next generation of coaches, team managers, scorers, coffee-makers etc.
“Our ultimate aim is that through attracting children to the club it will continue to grow and be successful. And maybe one day we will be able to say: ‘That player in the England shirt started his cricket journey at KHCC All Stars!’